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Nederland High Jazz Band joins Lamar stage for Thursday performance

NEDERLAND — The Nederland High School Jazz Band has been invited to accompany the Lamar University Jazz Band in an early holiday performance at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in the Lamar Music Building’s Rothwell Recital Hall.

Nederland Jazz Band Director Justin Collazo said the students would perform classic holiday songs such as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Winter Wonderland” and a medley of other tunes.

“Mr. Rick Condit, director of jazz studies at Lamar, invited us a few months ago to come and perform,” Collazo said. “What he’s done in the past is invite different high school jazz bands to come do a joint concert. He tries to get different local high schools to come play with them.”

Nederland will perform for about 15-30 minutes prior to LU’s performance. Collazo said he is using the experience as a learning opportunity for his students.

“The students get to hear what older, more mature players sound like,” he said. “They’ll get to hear and see the style of music we are trying to teach them every day. Plus, we have some former Nederland students in the Lamar band, and it will be neat to see how they’ve grown.”

Collazo said this is the only public holiday performance the jazz band will do.

“Last year we went and played for a ladies’ luncheon, and sometimes we’ll take the bands over to the middle school and play for them,” he said. “Both sides enjoy that, but we don’t really perform any holiday music outside of that.”

Jazz is America’s piece of music history, Collazo said, and it’s important to keep those traditions alive.

“We want to continue the jazz traditions and let people hear that kind of music,” he said. “It’s exposing people to that style. A lot of our students are really into it and they enjoy learning new things and performing. There is definitely a need for jazz for students who like it and enjoy playing their instruments in a different way.”

Tickets to the concert are free and open to the community.