This quarter, the jazz band class was canceled due to low enrollment.
Jazz band Instructor Kareem Kandi has taught jazz band at Pierce for eight years.
“As long as I have been affiliated with Pierce the jazz group has never been canceled,” Kandi said. “To my knowledge this is the first time the class has been canceled, which is a shame, considering that Pierce has built such a great facility to host music education.”
Following the completion of the Arts and Allied Health building about one year ago, the jazz band program was moved from the Fort Steilacoom campus to Pierce Puyallup.
Since then, enrollment has declined
“The change has definitely hurt the group more than helped,” Kandi said. “The new building is very nice, but unless people in the area know about the programs offered it isn’t going generate new students.”
Unlike jazz band, concert band has not been canceled and that may be in part because concert band augments the class with community members rather than rely solely on student enrollment.
Kandi chalked up the low student enrollment for jazz Band to the lack of knowledge that the newly located program is offered at Pierce Puyallup.
“When the band was at Fort Steilacoom it had been established for a long period of time. Teachers, students, and the general public knew about the program and therefore it had plenty of students enrolled,” Kandi said.
Of the 12 students needed for the class to be continued, only six enrolled. Though the class has been canceled, these six have formed an unofficial jazz band under Kandi’s supervision and practice every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. Rehearsals are open and anyone interested is encouraged to join.
In the meantime, Kandi is doing his best to see the jazz band grow at Pierce Puyallup.
“It is going to take some time to get back to where we were,” Kandi said. “We are basically starting over from scratch and the public in Puyallup doesn’t really know about the programs yet.”
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