With every note they play, students in Kent Denver School’s award-winning R&B group, The Quincy Ave. Rhythm Band, envelop listeners in a rich cocoon of emotion and song. DownBeat magazine recently named the ensemble the Best High School Band in the Country in the pop/rock/blues category—the seventh time in a decade the school has received this annual award.
Upper Schoolers audition annually for a spot in The Band, and those selected may take the program for credit during each of their high school years. In addition to on-campus appearances, the group has performed locally, nationally, and internationally, including gigs at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland and soul festivals in Porretta, Italy.
“These musicians perform at a professional level, and they just happen to be teenagers!” says Stephen Holley, the school’s Director of Commercial Music, who is himself a professional musician. “The amount of effort they pour into the music, our rehearsals, and our performances is astounding. I couldn’t be more proud of them!”
“We believe our band program is what music education should be—new and exciting,” says Upper School Division Head Eric Chandler. “In addition to honing their technical skills as vocalists and musicians, students learn how to perform before, connect with, and master the responsibilities and obligations performers have to an audience. They learn discipline and they discover how to exude joy on stage.”