Students at John McCrae Secondary School have an opportunity to get a high school credit by being a part of the John McCrae Jazz Program. Senior students who sign up for the course form the core of the John McCrae Jazz Orchestra, and Junior students are accepted into that ensemble based on instrument need and ability. The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from Jazz Standards, to Funk, to Modern Contemporary Jazz to Original music written for the Ensemble. In 2015, the JMSS Jazz Orchestra won the award for Best Jazz Ensemble at the Capital Region Music Festival. Junior Students who sign up for this course form the JMSS Junior Jazz Ensemble.
All Students who sign up for Jazz at John McCrae are provided with an additional opportunity to play small group jazz and contemporary / popular music in one of our combos. In these small ensembles, students develop their abilities to communicate with each other and to improvise, while also having a great deal of input on the music they perform. Students are chosen for these groups based on age and playing ability.
Currently the JMSS Jazz Orchestra rehearses Wednesday after school from 3:30 – 5:00, and Thursday at lunch.
Currently the JMSS Junior Jazz rehearses Tuesday after school from 3:30 – 5:00, and Wednesday at lunch.
The JMSS Jazz ensembles typically perform at four school concerts each year (December, February, May and June). They also host the annual Barrhaven Jazz Summit where they typically share the stage with other school and community Jazz Ensembles.
JMSS Jazz Ensembles have earned numerous gold standards both at the Capital Region Music Festival, and at Musicfest Canada.