MISSOULA – MTN News headed over to Washington Middle School to introduce you to some cool cats in this arts and entertainment report.
The Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble is made up of seventh and eighth grade students. Auditions are held each fall with the top 40 kids making the cut.
Washington Middle School band teacher Matt Tippton always tries to keep his students interested in the music they are playing, so when it comes to the songs, these kids are learning all the hits.
"We learn from the masters. So we are doing tunes from Glenn Miller, Herbie Hancock, Buddy Rich, just great players that these kids can find recordings of and listen to the masters and learn from that," Tippton said.
Besides learning and gaining an appreciation for jazz and music, there is one common thread that each of these students and their teacher seem to take away.
"Arts and music really builds relationships," Tippton said. "And to me, that is the most important thing about it. We see these kids come into jazz band and they may not know each other, then by the end of the year, the friendships and the relationships that they have built through playing music is so special.