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Manchester Essex Schools Invite Community to An Evening of Jazz with Award-Winning Composer and Alumnus

Composer and MERHS graduate George Darrah. (Photo Courtesy George Darrah)

Superintendent Pam Beaudoin, Principal Julie Sgroi and Principal Joanne Maino extend an invitation to the Manchester Essex community to attend an Evening of Jazz next month headlined by an award-winning composer and student alumnus.

At the event, the District will "welcome home" George Darrah, a Class of 2007 graduate, and a Boston-based composer, drummer and music teacher, at the event scheduled for March 14 at 6 p.m. at the Manchester Essex Regional Middle High School Auditorium. 

Darrah specializes in a variety of styles including jazz, pop, funk, big bands, and symphonic orchestras. Darrah has performed with and composed and arranged music for numerous performing artists. He appeared on "The Today Show" and performed for President Barack Obama and President Joe Biden.

In 2022 and 2023, he performed on drums with Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops Orchestra.

Invitation to the 2024 Evening of Jazz. (Photo Courtesy Manchester Essex Regional School District)

"It's no secret that graduates of Manchester Essex Schools go places far and wide, but it's always special when they 'make it' in the highly competitive creative industries," Superintendent Beaudoin said.

"I know that many of our parents and caregivers have enjoyed a career in the creative industries, and I have a feeling that – through George's work – they may very well see a younger version of themselves. I encourage the community to join George and our artists at the 2024 Evening of Jazz," Superintendent Beaudoin said.

The first half of the concert will consist of performances by Middle School and High School jazz bands, followed by Darah leading a combo of up-and-coming musicians from the North Shore.

Music Teacher Joe Janack welcomed Darrah and encouraged the community to attend, saying that, “I am so happy to welcome George to the stage and share his talents with our students and community. The Evening of Jazz is a great way for our students and their families to experience the genre for free.”

The event is made possible by a grant from the nonprofit organization Friends of Manchester Essex Performing Arts, the purpose of which is to ensure that Performing Arts are a vital part of both the Manchester Essex Regional School District as well as the communities of Manchester and Essex.