Freiburg Pupils Jazz House Orchestra (FSJ)

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More than three decades ago, Herbert Schiffels, then a teacher at the Rotteck Gymnasium in Freiburg, founded the Freiburger Schüler Jazz Orchester, or FSJ for short. Since its foundation, the fun of making music together and discovering jazz music has been at the center of the FSJ. The FSJ are 30 music-loving students from Freiburg and the surrounding area, who make the air shake with a rich and yet flexible, soft and also gripping big band sound.Unfortunately, the pandemic has put some obstacles in the way of the FSJ and made a normal operation impossible. Several concerts were cancelled and the farewell of the longtime leader Hans Clasen could not be celebrated. Clasen had taken over the direction of the orchestra in 2012 after Herbert Schiffels and had given the orchestra its own character. In addition to the concerts in and around Freiburg, the FSJ has always sought exchange with other big bands and so orchestra trips to the U.S., France, Greece and also an annual rehearsal period was realized. A major change took place in 2021: Due to Hans Clasen's departure, the continuation of the rehearsal work of the FSJ was no longer secured, because the protective roof of the schools thus fell away. And again Herbert Schiffels had the brilliant idea: The FSJ becomes part of the Freiburg Jazzhaus Association and thus the youth department. Since then the orchestra operates under the name: With Will Bartlett as the new musical director, an expert in big band music was found. Bartlett studied dramaturgy, piano and saxophone at Oxford University and the Guildhall School of Music. He has played in the Pasadena Roof Orchestra and the Glenn Miller Orchestra in big band settings, among others, and has conducted the Oxford University Jazz Orchestra and the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain. With the concert in Merzhausen, Will and the new line-up of the Freiburg Schüler Jazzhaus Orchester now introduce themselves and will set the walls of the FORUM Merzhausen into proper vibrations.

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