New jazz teacher prepares for class

When jazz teacher Jerry Margolis retired after 36 years, middle school Pianist for the Choral Program Kevin Babuder informed his best friend Shawn Costantino of the spot that needed to be filled.

This year, Costantino is looking forward to being “surrounded by students and teachers of the highest academic and intellectual achievement.” Costantino’s teaching methods have always taken a more “hands-on” approach, he said.

Costantino plans to make the school jazz program a “force on the national jazz scene,” by composing big bands and small jazz groups, entering in competitions and arranging recordings.

His goal for this year is to “establish the different groups,” and have each band create “an identity and a personality.”

Costantino hopes to spread the knowledge of jazz, “a very special American treasure,”and “pay [Margolis] homage by the things I do and the results that I help the students to achieve.”

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