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West Florida High School students experience the heart and soul of jazz

West Florida High School students experience the heart and soul of jazz. (Source: WEAR-TV)

This Fall, WEAR along with Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram are "Paying it Forward" to education.

Teachers submit their creative ideas to win $500 for their classrooms.

This week we introduce you to a band teacher at West Florida High School who's bringing jazz to the students.

If you ask band teacher, Pete Krostag, what is the backbone to any jazz band. He will tell you it's the beat of the drum.

"It's the heart beat of whole jazz idiom, that style. It kicks off the music, everything else revolves around that."

This year, Pete Krostag decided to expand the schools music program and started a student jazz band.

He said, "It's a whole different genre of music. Every well rounded musician needs a little of everything."

But for drums, they didn't have much.

He said, "We had a snare drum set up and a cymbal, so she played half of a drum set.....It was pretty sad. "

Krostag envisioned the jazz band performing for our community and winning awards but he needed a full drum set. Thanks to $500 from Hill-Kelly Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, they were able to buy a high end drum set to rival any jazz band in the south.

Drummer, Gabriele Estavez said, "This allows me branch out more, more drums and cymbals. I can learn more experiment more. "

The drum set will remain in band room so many students will be able to use it for years to come.

"Sometimes music is put on the back shelf. For somebody to come and say music is important to our community is a big thing." said Krostag.

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