Howard County Times

Jazz Under the Stars brings live student music to Glenelg on Friday

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The annual Jazz Under the Stars event, featuring the award-winning Glenelg High School Jazz Ensemble, returns Friday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the school’s athletics stadium in Glenelg.

Additional music acts include the Folly Quarter and Glenwood middle schools’ jazz ensembles and special guest artist, local professional jazz singer Nikki Lerner. The Glenelg Color Guard will also perform a combination of precision drill and choreographed dance.

Saxophonist Graham Jacobson plays a solo during Glenelg High's Jazz Under the Stars in May 2019.

Tickets cost $10 and can be purchased online or in-person at the stadium and food will be available for purchase from the Glenelg Boosters Concession Stand as well as a Mike’s Gelato truck. Ticket proceeds will support the Glenelg jazz band.

“The students are amazing musicians and to experience live music that we have at this caliber is priceless,” said Carol Binzen, communications coordinator for Glenelg Bands and Marching Unit Boosters, the group organizing the event. “Jazz music stirs the soul.”


Jazz Under the Stars began more than 20 years ago as a celebratory end-of-the-year picnic and eventually grew into a benefit concert for Glenelg’s jazz band to help support travel to national and international performances.

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“We really have tried to keep it as just a wonderful community event in support of live music in western Howard County,” said Glenelg band director Chris Winters, who graduated from Glenelg in 1994 and studied music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore.

During the past 40 years, the Glenelg jazz ensemble has won entry into several prestigious international jazz shows, including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands. In addition, the band has maintained an exchange program with a secondary school jazz ensemble in Freiburg, Germany.

“In terms of the level of play, it’s been recognized by famous jazz musicians from all over the country and from all over the world,” said Winters, who took over from director Barry P. Enzman in 2015. “That, I think, is really what makes it special, is just that inner drive of the kids to live up to the legacy of the groups that have come before them.”

While the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to international performances, Winters hopes the group will get accepted to the Rochester International Jazz Festival in New York State next summer and use the experience as a stepping stone for returning to overseas travel, in addition to jumpstarting the Freiburg exchange.

Whatever the future holds, Winters is confident that Jazz Under the Stars will continue to introduce new generations of students and community members to the wonders of live jazz music.

“It’s amazing to me just all of the little facets of our community that are coming out to support all of the kids, be it the middle school students or the high school students, and just sharing a great evening of music and a great evening of community,” he said.

To purchase Jazz Under the Stars tickets, visit: