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Auburn High School
405 S. Dean Rd.
Auburn, AL 36830
Office: (334) 887-4970
Band: (334) 887-4986


The third facet of the Auburn High School Band program is the Lab Band, Auburn High's internationally renound jazz combo. Made up of some 20-25 instrumentalists, the Lab Band performs works ranging from early jazz to 70s rock and modern jazz.

Known as one of Alabama's top high school jazz ensembles, the Lab Band has performed in jazz festivals and competitions nationwide and in six foreign nations, amassing some 42 Best-in-Class awards and an all-judges record of 123-2-0-0 in 21 years of competition. The Lab Band has been invited to jazz festivals in Frankfurt, Paris, Vienna, and Shanghai, and in 1982 performed in the prestigious Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux, Switzerland. The Lab Band was named one of the nation's top ten high school jazz ensembles in 1974, and was chosen by the National Association of Jazz Educators to be included on the NAJE's "Project II" album as one of "The Nation's Most Outstanding Jazz Bands" in 1978.

Throughout the early history of the Auburn High School Band, jazz education was fomented through the creation of student-run jazz ensembles, including the "Aristocrats of Rhythm" in the late 1930s, the "Dance Band" in the early 1950s, and the "Blue Notes" in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It wasn't until 1970, though, that Auburn High sponsored a curricular jazz band. In that year, at the behest of a group of Auburn High Band members, director Tommy Goff began teaching a course titled "Laboratory Experiences in Instrumental Music", focusing largely on jazz and other contemporary styles. This "Laboratory Band" soon became a dedicated jazz combo, and performed at its first jazz competition in 1972, winning the Sweepstakes award at the Alabama Jazz Festival in Birmingham. Since then, the Lab Band has kept a busy schedule performing at local, regional, national, and international events, all while promoting jazz, America's only native art form.

Following are a few selections from the Lab Band's performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

Pressure Cooker

Soloists: Glenn Power, Paul Fabel, Tim Chambliss

This Is Love

Soloists: Jon Smith, Steve Armour, Jenny Lauderdale

Take the "A" Train

Soloists: Paul Fabel, Johnny Hendricks, Ted Vives, Steve Armour, Jon Smith, Brent Newton

All of Me

Soloists: Jon Smith, piano

Shoreline Drive

Soloists: Steve Armour, Jon Smith

A list of many of the Lab Band's awards and honors can be viewed here.

Trey Armistead, 2003. Last revised 17 January 2003.
Lab Band photos
1970s concert
1974 All-American Jazz Festival
1974 All-American Jazz Festival
1986 outdoor performance
80s concert
1989 World Music Showcase
1997 SREB meeting
1999 Earth Day Concert
1999 Earth Day Concert
2000 Halloween Concert

Related links
Montreaux Jazz Festival

This webpage was created by Trey Armistead, and is the official website of the Auburn High School Band.  Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated and should be sent to treyarmistead@alumni.rice.edu