Laramie High School senior furthers his musical abilities and knowledge by attending a Jazz III course at the University of Wyoming.

LHS senior, Abijah Ahern wanted to challenge himself this year with a music agenda that is more difficult and requires a greater level of commitment.

“I took it because it offered something more rigorous than the regular jazz program here at LHS,” Ahern said. “It also allowed me to interact with UW music faculty, who are fantastic and very well versed in music and Jazz.”

“The students are music majors which means that they tend to be a little more committed,” Ahern said.

This UW class also allows Ahern to practice more often and to share his knowledge with many of the students in Jazz band in LHS.

“I think that the UW jazz band provides me with a lot of skills both musically and performance wise, I really enjoy taking these skills back to Jazz band at LHS and spreading them not only allowing me to make them better but also allowing me to grow as a leader as well,” Ahern said.

Ahern’s attends the UW Jazz III class on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for an hour a day.

“The music at the college level is a big change, the amount of practice and the musical knowledge required to play and sound good is at a higher standard,” Ahern said.

Both the students and teacher are more focused.

“Mrs. Olson, band director at LHS, is a great instructor, but she has a lot on her plate all the time,” Ahern said ” at UW Jazz is that particular instructors only type of band that they have to teach so it allows for deeper and more rigorous instruction.”

All of these things feed into Ahern’s eagerness and desire to lead the jazz band and help to polish them and make their performances the best they can possibly be. By performing with the UW Jazz band, Ahern has gained a grasp of the level of professionalism and class that is required to play at the next at the college level.

Ahern is grateful for LHS giving him this opportunity as the Albany County School District pays for Ahern to attend this class.

“I think it’s really cool how both our band and district are so willing to support this in both a financial and administrative sense” Ahern said.

Ahern recommends this course for anyone who has a passion for Jazz music and a hunger for leadership.