Hall High School Pops 'n Jazz
A West Hartford tradition
for more than six decades
Hall High School Pops 'n Jazz features more than 100 student performers from the school's Concert Jazz Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Dancers, Choraliers (singers), I Giovani Solisti (string players) and acting program. The program, which varies slightly each night, provides an array of American jazz classics from all eras, performed in big band and combo settings, highly choreographed jazz productions, and featured solo performances. The show offers an eclectic blend of music, ranging from traditional and progressive jazz to pop-rock and Broadway.
Invited guests from the ranks of professional musicians, including several Hall alumni, appear on selected evenings. Participation of guest performers is supported by the Ellen Jeanne Goldfarb Memorial Charitable Trust.
Pops 'n Jazz showcases up-and-coming young talent from King Philip and Bristow middle schools with special performances by the KP Singers, Sixth Dimension, King Philip Jazz Band and Bristow Middle School Jazz Band. Hall Junior Artists, outstanding elementary school musicians from Aiken, Whiting Lane, Bugbee, Norfeldt, Morley, and Smith elementary schools perform on selected evenings.
Pops 'n Jazz is produced by James Antonucci, Hall High School director of bands, and Emmett Drake, director of orchestras for Hall and Conard High Schools. Vocal direction is by Hall High choir director Brett Boles, and choreography and musical staging is by Tessa Grunwald. Technical direction is by Spencer Bazzano, stagecraft teacher and technical director for Hall and Conard High Schools, with technical support from more than 30 students enrolled in Halls fine and performing arts programs.
For two weekends in March, Pops 'n Jazz plays to an audience of more than 4,000 over five sold-out performances — plus a senior citizen matinee and a sensory — friendly performance — a West Hartford tradition that has continued to be a source of school and community pride for more than six decades.
Auditions for Hall High School jazz bands, jazz combos, and Choraliers are held in January. Jazz Dancer auditions are held in September.