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Trumpeting His Knowledge

Washington Township High School Jazz Band Receives Special Instruction from Philly Pops Veteran, Rowan Professor

WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP – It’s probably safe to say that the trumpeters in the Washington Township High School Jazz Band had never been told to remove their mouthpieces to create “jungle sounds” mid-rehearsal before Tuesday afternoon. Of course, this was no ordinary rehearsal. The band received a two-hour audience and clinic session with renowned jazz performer and now Rowan University professor George Rabbai.

Rabbai brought all his techniques to the clinic. Whether he was asking pointed questions, having students play notes over and over again to get that perfect sound, or even having them scat sing the funky jazz sounds out loud before playing the notes.

A trumpeter by trade, Rabbai is an Adjunct Professor of Jazz Trumpet and Improvisation at Rowan and a longtime member of the Woody Herman Orchestra. In addition, he performs with the Philly Pops, the Philadelphia Ballet Company and with Michael Feinstein, and he is often part of jazz ensembles with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 2014, Rabbai played trumpet on the Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga compilation album, “Cheek to Cheek.”

Rabbai’s clinic was made possible thanks to a South Jersey Industries Grant received by Visual and Performing Arts supervisor Bob Frampton.