Participation in the Jazz Ensemble is open to any middle school and high school band student, particularly players who have experience on their instrument and are looking to learn the many styles of jazz! The group is comprised of wind players (Saxophone, Trumpet, and Trombone) and rhythm section players (Guitar, Piano, Bass, and Drums). At the beginning of each semester, students will be asked to play a prepared piece (something they know - preferably a jazz, concert band, or solo piece) for the Jazz Ensemble Directors to determine placement into either the 5:00 group or the 6:15 group. Students may decide not to play a prepared piece for the directors and will be automatically placed into the 5:00 group.
The Jazz Ensemble has performed at the GCMEA Small Ensembles Concerts.
While small ensemble information will usually be sent out to participating parents and students through email, sometimes things come up or change at the last minute, making it necessary for parents and students to receive this new information quickly. For this reason, Remind classes have been set up for each of our small ensembles. By signing up for Remind messages through the app, text message, or email, you will be able to receive quick notifications from your small ensembles instructor(s) with important reminders, when practices are canceled or rescheduled due to conflicts or weather, etc. No phone numbers or email addresses are ever exchanged or visible to the instructors or other parents and students. Click on the button bellow for information on how to sign up for Jazz Ensemble Remind messages.
Mr. Sean Sawyer is a 1988 graduate and former trumpet section leader at Morgantown High School. During his high school career, he was a three year solo/lead trumpet player for its nationally award-winning Jazz Ensemble, two-time member of the West Virginia All-State Band, a member of the Eastern Regional Honors Band, and joined the WVU Marching Band, the "Pride of West Virginia", while still a senior in high school. He later began his professional career traveling nationwide and performing with musical greats such as Vince DiMartino, Dizzy Gillespie, and Wynton Marsalis. In 2014, Mr. Sawyer became the Brass Instructor for the WCHS Band, and in 2017 he accepted the Central Greene School District's invitation to become an Assistant Band Director. When not educating the musical youth of Waynesburg, Sean is a partner at the Fairmont WV-based personal injury law firm of Higinbotham & Higinbotham. He is a founding member and continues to consult with the MountainFest Motorcycle Rally held annually in July in Morgantown. He routinely volunteers a tremendous amount of his time throughout the community as Past President of the Rotary Club of Fairmont WV, Assistant Governor of Rotary District 7530 and Secretary-Treasurer of his local Neighborhood Watch Association. He also routinely performs pro bono work for victims of domestic violence, certain area businesses and municipal public service districts. Sean now lives on family property near his parents and two brothers in Preston County, WV with his wife, Julie, and their five children, Christopher, Chase, Ryan, Nicholas and Corinne. Sean continues to play in municipal bands in Morgantown and Shinnston WV, travels with the WVU European Touring Alumni Band, and is the face-melting trumpeter in the horn section of the Subway Show Band based out of Morgantown, led by oldies music legend, Terry Lewis.