Conductor and music teacher Keith Waples says Warwick residents are warming to the tune of jazz music.
Conductor and music teacher Keith Waples says Warwick residents are warming to the tune of jazz music. Emma Channon

Jazz catching on with country kids

KEITH Waples instinctively looks at his instrument as he describes what it is about jazz music that keeps his blood pumping.

It's the thrill, he says, of performing on stage and being able to improvise your music that keeps the genre so interesting and unpredictable.

The music teacher, who splits his time between the primary and high schools, will bring some of his passion to the Jumpers and Jazz Festival, which is less than one week away.

The Warwick High School stage band and big band are in line to perform at three occasions.

“(The stage band and big bands) are a bit more fun for the students in some regards,” Mr Waples said.

“It's a different style of music and gives them more opportunity (to learn) – but it requires a bit more talent from them to get into the improvisational stuff. It's good to know how to make it up themselves and know how to play the right notes.”

Along with encouraging them to improvise in solos, Mr Waples also teaches them not to rely on reading the music.

He said while jazz was a popular choice of genre among his students, it was not top of the music list among Warwick households.

“A lot of the music people listen to here is country and western – and that's just the rural nature of Warwick,” he said.

“As a town we don't have much exposure with the Queensland Orchestra and groups like that, but slowly we've been able to educate parents because their kids play.”

The Warwick State High School bands will perform on Saturday July 23 outside Bryson's Place, Thursday July 28 and at Leslie Park on July 31.



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