Members of HHS Jazz Ensemble perform at convention

HARLINGEN — Abel Garza was still riding on a high wave of success after dazzling the Alamo City with his hot trombone performance.

He and the other members of the Harlingen High School Jazz Ensemble performed last week at the Texas Music Educators Association Clinic/Convention in San Antonio. They were invited guests as the best jazz band in Texas.

“It was an honor,” said Abel, 16. “The amount of people who came to watch was a little challenging.”

The HHS Jazz Ensemble has been enjoying its designation as the best Texas High School Honors Jazz Group since May. The designation was awarded by the Texas Jazz Educators Association in conjunction with the Texas Music Educators Association.

This is the first time the Harlingen High School Jazz Band has been named best in the state, said Ronnie Rios, music director for the Harlingen school district.

“They perform with passion and goose bumps,” Rios said. “It makes me very proud.”

They played six pieces which took more than an hour.

Haydee Munoz, 16, had a great time, too.

“We had a lot of people,” said Haydee, a sophomore who plays alto sax.

“I felt relaxed,” she said.

The convention kept Abel “very busy.” He was playing with the Texas High School Honors Group and the all-state jazz band.

“I had two different rehearsals,” he said.

The most challenging part of the whole experience was bringing all the trombones together and even complimenting each other.

“It was just a lot of balance,” he said.