Voland Works with MHS Jazz Combos


By Lila Markow

On April 13, jazz musician George Voland came to Montpelier High School to work with the two MHS jazz combos, Red Clay and the Jazz Messengers. Voland is a music instructor from Burlington with extensive experience teaching and playing music, as well as a valve trombonist in the Vermont Jazz Ensemble along with many other talented jazz players. The valve trombone is an uncommon instrument taking characteristics from a trumpet while still having the sound of a trombone.

Voland came to our school excited to work with the combos and added twists to songs they had already been playing.  For example, he took a straight eighths jazz song and turned it into bossa song, making it something you could party to.  He worked to get each individual to find their sound while soloing and improvising so that each had a style of their own to work with.

After about four hours of coaching and playing and a small dinner break, the combos met back with Voland and Mr. Kreiz at Bagitos Café for a performance. There was a range of tunes played between the Jazz Messengers and Red Clay, including Black Orpheus, a bossa style jazz song, Recorda Me, a smooth slower style jazz piece, and Short Stuff, a sped up jazz song, all of which filled up the small café with lively evening entertainment for all who attended.