“Make it pretty so she’ll say yes when you ask her to prom,” Jon Faddis suggested to 14-year-old Edward Henry, of the Bellefonte Middle School Jazz Band.
Faddis, a well-known trumpet player, conductor, composer and educator, wanted Edward’s alto saxophone solo to have more personality. After a few learning moments, Edward got it.
Faddis, along with Tim Warfield Jr. on saxophone, Steve Rudolph on piano and Bob Hart on bass, was adjudicating local middle school and high school jazz bands as part of the 18th annual Penn State Jazz Festival on Saturday.
Bellefonte Middle School Jazz Band director Brenna Bixler said it’s the third year her students have had the opportunity to perform and learn from the knowledgeable musicians at the festival.
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For Faddis, it’s really almost basic as a performer to teach.
“It’s our responsibility to inspire the kids,” he said.