JONAH AS A PERSON
Jonah is a very nice, quiet kid with no ego problem. He was great to talk to, although like a typical high kid, his answers were not very in-depth. He is very serious about his music. It is unusual for a kid to start playing the guitar and then, on his own, pick up the cello and also the French horn. The French horn is a very difficult instrument and after a short period of time, he is in the Wind Ensemble (the top band playing horn at PHS. He is pleased to be a soloist with the Jazz Summit. He is as great selection!
Jonah heard the Jazz Summit Band at last year’s Saturday Concert. He was also present for Mike’s clinic session with the PHS Band that week. He got to work with Jack Peterson, guitarist extraordinaire at the clinic. We mentioned to Jonah that Jack was impressed with Jonah's guitar playing and the kid beamed!
How did you get into playing guitar?
It was strictly my idea...liked the instrument, “thought it was cool at the time.”
How long have you played guitar?
“I have only played the cello and French horn about one year”
It appears that he is mostly into jazz music...probably due to many, many hours of practice at PHS. In Middle School he listened to jazz and rock but while at Mile High Middle School he gained some knowledge of jazz.
All State Jazz Band experience
Outstanding music students are selected from throughout the state to perform at All State. The concert band and orchestra are easier to get into because of the number of students that can be selected on each instrument. It is much more difficult to get into the jazz band because there are so few musicians. He was one of only two guitarists for the band. Not only that but he was only a freshman when he was selected. (very few students make the All State Groups as a freshman).
He said that he went to audition just for the experience not expecting to get selected. The jazz band practiced for two days—about 9 hours the first day and 5 hours the second day plus a concert that evening.
Tell me about your jazz experience at Prescott High School?
I couldn’t get much out of him on this question. He did say that,
“Mr. Bradstreet taught me to listen to jazz” and the importance of becoming a good listener.” “ He got me serious about jazz music.”
When asked who his favorite guitarist was he immediately said, “Wes Montgomery.”
Having just completed your freshman year, have you given any thought to how you will continue with your music after high school?
No hesitation, “I want to major in music in college.”
Will you continue with your music this summer? Jonah said that he has a small jazz group made up of his friends—his brother on bass, two saxophones, two trumpets and drums plus himself on guitar. He and his brother are the only current high school musicians. The others will be freshmen at PHS this fall. They are graduating musicians from Mile High Middle School.
He also hopes to take some French horn lessons during the summer.
Do you read music and/or play by ear?
“ I do both, but in the PHS jazz band it is mostly reading.”
Are other members of your family musical, other than your brother?
“Not really, dad plays harmonica”
Do you take private lessons with anyone?
Guitar lessons from Drew Hall.
How long have you been playing jazz?
How much practicing do you do on your 3 instruments?
“I practice about 9 hours a week on the guitar and
about 5 hours each on the French horn and cello.
What bands do you like?
The Prescott High School jazz band long with other PHS instrumental groups will perform in London this coming Christmas Holiday.
The Prescott H.S. instrumental program has established a reputation for excellence.
A more complete interview will be here soon.