By Stephanie Deutsch
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 âsurrounded by students and teachers of the highest academic and intellectual achievement.â Costantinoâs teaching methods have always taken a more âhands-onâ approach, he said.
Costantino plans to make the school jazz program a âforce on the national jazz scene,â by composing big bands and small jazz groups, entering in competitions and arranging recordings.
His goal for this year is to âestablish the different groups,â and have each band create âan identity and a personality.â
Costantino hopes to spread the knowledge of jazz, âa very special American treasure,âand âpay [Margolis] homage by the things I do and the results that I help the students to achieve.â