MORGANTOWN, W.Va. -- A group of West Virginia University students enjoy spending their Friday evenings playing New Orleans style jazz music in downtown Morgantown. The High Street Jazz Band is bringing Dixieland sounds to the streets of West Virginia.
Walking along High Street on a Friday night, around 10 p.m., you can hear the sounds of the jazz band playing somewhere near you.
It's the sound of the saxophone, tuba, clarinet, and many other big band jazz instruments.
As the band plays a song on the sidewalk of High Street, passersby stop to listen.
John Fitzmaurice is a student at WVU, and he's a member of the band.
He's got a tuba wrapped around him like a snake. He acts as a leader for the band.
While they play, he makes hand gestures to give directions to the musicians. These tell a person to start or end a solo, and tell the group to end a song.
"We actually started out in 2010, a bunch of us music ed guys got together, and put it together. Going strong for two years now," Fitzmaurice said.
"We really believe as a band to make a place better than what we found it. We're doing that through music, and that's the best way we know how to do that."
During their performances each Friday night, the band will walk down the street to play on a different part of High Street. A new crowd gathers.
Alex Higgins plays the trumpet in the band. He says it's great to receive support from the community when the band comes out to play.
"The people that come out and they hear it, and they all have positive attitudes, some of them start dancing and everything. It's a lot of fun playing to them. Every once in a while, we will have kids come through and they are just amazed at what we do, and they have a lot of fun. That's what I love the most about it," said Higgins.