Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals

Samantha Strunk, Editor

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Among Alabama’s most beloved landmarks is a small city with a big sound- Muscle Shoals. Likewise, among Donoho’s most beloved programs is a small group with a big sound- the Donoho Jazz Band.

Muscle Shoals, AL, has left its mark on music history with artists ranging from Aretha Franklin to the Rolling Stones traveling to the city to record the music that’s become a signature part of American culture. Last December, the Donoho Jazz Band, too, was given the chance to add what they had to offer to the Muscle Shoals timeline.

The ten-person ensemble made its way north to recording studio The NuttHouse. Housing artists such as the increasingly popular Alabama Shakes and Birmingham-based St. Paul & the Broken Bones, there was a certain standard the Jazz Band had to rise to meet. Despite the prestige of the studio, though, junior trumpet player Abby Swinney says, “The atmosphere there was very chill and wasn’t stressful like I thought it would be. It was a great opportunity for the jazz band and we are so thankful we were able to go.” Eighth-grade trumpet player Chloe Cater shared a similar sentiment. When asked what it was like to record with the group as an eighth-grader, she replied, “It was kind of intimidating because everyone else recording was much older and had a lot more experience. At first, I was worried I would mess up. But when we got started, it was just so much fun and an awesome experience.”

Clueless as I was to the process behind recording, I asked Abby to share some insight. After a few sound checks, the band played through the songs multiple times while recording engineer Jimmy Nutt worked to bring everything together. The recording went well, and the students are happy with the outcome of their dedication.

Needless to say, this band works hard. They practice together three days a week for forty minutes, and many individuals put in effort beyond this allotted practice time. Furthermore, the band agrees that it would not be the group it is if it were not for the unwavering leadership of band director David Swinney.

All members agree the trip was an incredible experience, and there are things to be taken away from it, as well. Chloe says, “It helped me to understand the pressures of a performance. I think it will help me to be better prepared in pressuring situations when I need to play my best through my nerves.” Abby, too, found the experience enlightening, “Recording at The NuttHouse in a way confirmed my goal of going into music education/music therapy. I saw how the producers there enjoyed their job of getting to make music everyday and it pushed me towards my goal of wanting to teach music.”

The Jazz Band has seen a great deal of success, and, from what I can gather, there is much more to come. When asked about his goals for the band, sophomore saxophone player Bryant Barrentine reflected, “I see the jazz band being an organization that is appreciated by the teachers and parents, and I think it will thrive as long as student musicians enjoy jazz. I’d love to see the jazz band develop into a group that can improvise at gigs and is known as a highly respected group.”

I think we can agree they are well on their way.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals

    Arts

    Sonia Kashyap

  • Arts

    Adam Stremmel

  • Arts

    Cory Van Ekris

  • Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals

    Arts

    Mahaley Tucker

  • Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals

    Arts

    Donoho Pep Band

  • Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals

    Arts

    Trumbauer One Act Cast List

  • Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals

    Arts

    Donoho’s Plan for The Walter Trumbauer Festival

  • Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals

    Arts

    Donoho Spring Band/Choir Concert

  • Arts

    Mahaley Tucker

  • Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals

    Arts

    Cast of Aladdin

Jazz Band Records in Muscle Shoals