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Jamboree jazz band plays the lights out in Charleston

When people think of Scouts doing service, they usually picture Scouts holding hammers and shovels, not trombones and trumpets.

George Pinchock wants to change that. The band director for the 2013 National Jamboree Jazz Band brought his 57-member group off the Summit property to perform two shows in nearby West Virginia cities on Friday.

“The jamboree brought people down here to do service, and this is how we do service,” Pinchock said. “We could be clearing brush, but instead we do what musicians can do. We perform. We bring Scouting to the community through our music.”

Today I met up with the band in Charleston, the charming West Virginia capital city, to check out their performance at Live on the Levee, a neat venue right on the banks of the Kanawha River. The band had performed earlier in the day at a smaller venue in Beckley, W.Va.

Rain clouds formed during the performance, but the Scouts played on. Raindrops fell at an angle, soaking the tuba, trombone and trumpet sections, but the Scouts played on. At one point, the power was shut down because of a lightning risk in the area, but the Scouts played on. To say the band played the lights out would be accurate on two levels.

They played more than a dozen recognizable songs, including “Hey Baby,” “Carry On Wayward Son,” “New York, New York,” and “Thriller.”

During each song, nearly everyone in the 300-person crowd (kept dry by a large retractable roof) tapped their feet or sang along. Even the headliners set to perform after the BSA Jamboree Jazz Band couldn’t help but dance to a few of the Scouts’ songs as they prepared the stage for their set. After the show, Charleston Mayor Danny Jones was among the first to rise to give the group a standing ovation.

The band’s confident, fun performance becomes even more impressive when you realize the group first rehearsed together on July 11 — less than 10 days ago. Since then, the band, composed of some of the best Scout musicians from across 32 different states, has bonded and formed into one solid sound.

“The kids came together with incredible talent,” said Pinchock, whose real (read: paying) job is as band director at Villanova University. “I’ve been really impressed.”

More photos:

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8 Comments on Jamboree jazz band plays the lights out in Charleston

  1. LENNY JENNINGS // July 20, 2013 at 12:04 am // Reply

    I would like to see them perform on Youtube.

  2. Sue Lawlor // July 20, 2013 at 7:44 am // Reply

    How did scouts get selected for this wonderful group?

    • 2013 Jamboree Band Members // July 21, 2013 at 10:56 pm // Reply

      We sent in applications filled out by our band directors, then they were reviewed and we were chosen to be the band members. For information about the 2017 band, visit http://www.jamboband.org over the next few years. We have had a blast over the past two weeks, and hope others can have the same chance.

  3. Jill Mobley // July 20, 2013 at 8:05 am // Reply

    My son is in the band, a wonderful opportunity. Thank you for covering this!

  4. Thank you for the awesome article, Bryan!

    Visit http://jamboband.org for details on applying for the 2017 National Scout Jamboree Band!

  5. My son is in the band and having the time of his life. Everything I hear is positive and upbeat. Its been such a wonderful experience for him. A big thank you to the leadership of this group for all they have done.
    Thank you Bryan for the article and pictures!

  6. MM McNemar // July 20, 2013 at 6:26 pm // Reply

    Woot! Finally have a pic on my Eagle in the Jambo Band! Great article and even better band! My son is loving every minute of it.

  7. The band was fantastic and a boost of energy as they passed through Alpha & Bravo camps. They sounded great, and they brought great energy to the crowd through the heat. Thank you to these outstanding performers!! :)

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