“So Nice (Summer Samba) by Marcos Valle & Paulo Valle. Performed by Yvonne Tremoulet and Minh-Vy Nguyen
By Matthew Piechalak | firstname.lastname@example.org
For three straight weeks, Parker Middle School students Yvonne Tremoulet and Minh-Vy Nguyen, both Class of 2025, worked separately on four arrangements for Summer Jazz Band.
“The students did a fantastic job,” says Parker Music teacher Jim Witt.
“So Nice (Summer Samba)” by Marcos Valle and Paulo Valle and “In a Mellow Tone” by Duke Ellington featured both players. MinhVy and Yvonne also created their own versions of “Blues” and “Impressions” by John Coltrane.
“With Yvonne and Minh-Vy, I would send them photos and recordings of the music and then we would practice it online,” Jim says. “ When they were comfortable with the music, I made some backing tracks with my son, Tony ’13.”
For the backing tracks, Jim and Tony played tenor saxophone, piano, bass, and used a pre-recorded drum track. Yvonne and MinhVy would then practice their alto saxes with the backing track.
“I would listen to them online and make suggestions,” Jim explains. “ When they felt comfortable, they would record themselves while listening to the backing track. When we had some good takes, Tony and I would mix their parts with the backing track into a final performance.”
During the virtual summer course, the students also studied music theory to help with their improvisations.
Check out all of the final performances below.
Traditional Blues. Performed by Yvonne Tremoulet, left, and Minh-Vy Nguyen, right
“In a Mellow Tone” by Duke Ellington. Performed by Yvonne Tremoulet and Minh-Vy Nguyen
“Impressions” by John Coltrane. Performed by Yvonne Tremoulet, left, and Minh-Vy Nguyen, right