Donate to the Haverford Jazz Residency Fund
Each year, jazz students benefit from a residency that brings a professional musician into Haverford schools to work with students 5 times throughout the school year.
The residency is funded entirely through contributions. Without your donation, this amazing opportunity would not be possible. Download a jazz residency pledge card, which contains complete details about making a tax-deductible contribution.
Jazz in Haverford
Due to the popularity of jazz participation in Haverford High School, there are three performing jazz groups: the HHS Jazz Lab band, the HHS Jazz Ensemble and the HHS Jazz Combo.
The HHS Jazz Lab Band:
- directed by Jeff Hart
- rehearses once a week (Thursday 3:30–5 p.m.)
- keeps musicians actively participating in jazz performance and practice
- is not graded, and does not earn credit
- performs at school concerts
The HHS Jazz Ensemble:
- directed by Mike Fein
- performs advanced Jazz literature
- emphasizes improvisation in a variety of jazz styles
- rehearses 2 times per week (Wednesday 2:30–4:25 p.m. and Thursday 7:30–9:30p.m.)
- performs at concerts, festivals and competitions
- is a graded course
- earns .4 credits, over the course of the year.
- requires enrollment in HHS Block 4 Band or Orchestra
The HHS Jazz Combo:
- directed by Marcel Bellinger
- performs jazz tunes in a small-group setting
- heavily emphasizes improvisation
- encourages students to compose and arrange for the ensemble
- rehearses 1 time per week (Wednesday 4:30-5:30pm)
- performs at concerts
- is not graded and does not earn credit
Selection and group placement for high school jazz performance is determined by audition, now held in June for the following year.
Please check the Calendar for performance information.
The HMS Jazz Fords:
- directed by Marcell Bellinger
- rehearses once a week (Wednesdays 2:45-4)
- introduces musicians to jazz styles
- performs at school concerts
The HMS Jazz Ensemble
- directed by Alex Gittelman
- rehearses 3 times per week (Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays 7:10-7:40 a.m.)
- performs at concerts and competitions
- emphasizes improvisation
Annual Evening of Jazz
Each year, we celebrate the wonderful jazz program in our schools with the Evening of Jazz. This fun evening of music and a dessert buffet raises funds for the Haverford School District Jazz Ensembles and showcases all of our jazz musicians.
The Evening of Jazz is also the culmination of the jazz residency program in Haverford. Each year, a professional musician leads workshops for all jazz musicians at the middle and high schools and visits as many elementary schools as time permits. The visiting musician performs with all the groups at the Evening of Jazz and, occasionally, arranges music for these groups.
Dick Oatts, saxophonist, was the 2016 Artist in Residence. He is a professor of Jazz Studies at the Boyer School of Music at Temple University. Since 1977 he has been a member of the Thad Jones – Mel Lewis Orchestra (now the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra) and has performed and/or recorded with Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Torme, Luther Vandross, James Taylor and more.
HHS Jazz Ensemble web site, directed by Mike Fein
HHS Lab Band web page (coming soon), directed by Jeff Hart.
Jazz Fords web page, directed by Marcell Bellinger
HMS Jazz Ensemble web page, directed by Alex Gittelman
BOPs Liaison: Heather Heckler