This past weekend, I had the privilege of attending the annual Berklee High school Jazz Festival held in Boston. 

This was my second year of attending this festival and I highly encourage others to watch this festival or chaperone your local high school jazz band if they are attending next year. 

What fascinates me the most about this festival is the talent behind every teenage musician and group that is performing. I am blown away by how music is performed in other states compared to our own.

For instance, one of my favorite jazz bands in attendance is from Arlington High school, located East of Poughkeepsie, New York. 

The sound this group from Arlington High creates is powerful. Their passion shown behind the music leaves me in chills. That is why I enjoy listening to not only this group, but others performance as well.

The ability to bond with others over a shared passion of listening and/or playing music is spectacular!

This year’s festival did not leave much free time to listen to other groups due to my jazz band’s performance schedule. With that, I was not able to see many groups outside the state of Maine perform. 

In my attendance of watching other groups performances, I found that Thornton Academy’s Jazz band was one of my favorite groups of the day.

I particularly liked Thornton’s performance of an  arranged version of a piece called “Cheesecake.” 

Not only did this piece contain many wonderful solos from Thornton’s students throughout the piece, but there was some pretty challenging rhythms that the group played well together. Overall, I thought Thornton’s performance was pretty “sweet.” (Pun intended) 

In addition to hearing jazz pieces named after the sweet dessert, one of my annual Berklee traditions is to head over to the local Cheesecake Factory and grab myself a big ol’ slice…or two…of cheesecake.

However, this year’s tradition was not as joyous as it was in years past.

As my jazz band pals and I were already waiting in the annoyingly long line to order cheesecake, a group of seven boys decided to cut us. 

Being a mature young lady, I just let it go even though as high school students, these boys should know that cutting in line is a very rude action. 

What really irked me about these boys is how rude they were to the staff members at The Cheesecake Factory. 

These people are already having a hard day dealing with rambunctious teenagers hungry for cheesecake. The last thing they need is for these same teenagers to be rude and tell them how to do their jobs…

Despite the lovely boys who clearly weren’t gentlemen, the satisfaction of that first bite of cheesecake made the long wait worthwhile. 

Thank goodness for cheesecake. 

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