Feelin’ The Swing


| Via Jazz Band

Jazz Band poses for a photo after becoming the state runner-ups.

It has been an eventful year for the Norman North Jazz Band. Known as Norman North’s Big Band to everyone else, they have been doing gigs and shows all year. Their first gig in particular was a big one. Last semester they opened the stage for both of UCO’s top bands in one of their first shows. UCO is consistently recognized for being the premier jazz program in Oklahoma and frequently receives recognition on national and international levels. So being able to open up one of their performances was quite the honor. 

As much fun as the gigs are, they were only fronts to practice performing to live audiences. There is only one competition for high school jazz bands in Oklahoma, which is called State Contest. The contest was hosted at UCO, and every school that had a jazz band or two was there. Norman North brought their Big Band, as well as their Jazz Collective, a smaller group but still eligible to perform in the competition. The Big Band played four songs, with a show that was 25 minutes in length. After their last song, they got a standing ovation from the judges (and were the only group to receive one) and were given a near-perfect score in all categories. In the end, however, they placed second in the state, being beat out by half of a point. While the members of the Big Band were disappointed they lost the title of State Champions by half a point, they were still ecstatic that they did so well. Jazz State Contest is one of the most competitive events a band can participate in, and remains the only contest that OSSAA recognizes and awards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place to the highest scoring bands. So it was an exciting moment for the Norman North Big Band when they found out that the semester and a half of hard work they had put into working up their music paid off, and paid off well. 

The end of the year is quickly approaching though, but the Big Band has one last performance before they pack up. On Monday, May 22, they will be showing off one last time, performing all the swing and funk that they had worked so hard to perfect. It has been a successful year for the Norman North Big Band and they, without a doubt, will end off their tune on a high note.