Weather Forecast


Esko jazz bands really swing

1 / 6
2 / 6
Esko jazz band, Nathan Barta, 3 / 6
4 / 6
5 / 6
Esko jazz band6 / 6

Kids, grandparents and everyone in between enjoyed tapping along to Esko's Jazz I and Jazz II bands Friday, Dec. 8. Concert, big band and Christmas music flowed to the audience, inviting people onto the dance floor of the cafetorium at Esko High School.

Sisters Ellynor Barta, 10, and Lucy, 8, twirled and danced to almost every song, bringing cheers and whistles from the audience as they showed off their moves. They were there to watch their big brother, Nathan, play piano in the band.

Musicians demonstrated their skills throughout the night led by enthusiastic longtime teacher and saxophone player, Rich Mowers.

"One of my goals is to teach kids to enjoy making genuine music with their instruments and to have fun," Mowers said.

Several students performed solos during the event, some with instruments while others sang.

Mike McIvain lifted his 11-year-old daughter, Grace, and swung her about as she grinned ear to ear and the audience members clapped their approval.

A drum solo brought another round of whoops and hollers of appreciation from listeners.

A silent auction dessert fundraiser featured a variety of pies, cakes and other goodies donated by several restaurants. The $750 raised goes back into the Esko Jazz Fund to purchase equipment and other needs for the band, as well as scholarships for students to attend jazz band festivals at local colleges.