Special to the Journal The Belton Middle School Jazz Band will soon be grooving to new music thanks to a $500 grant from the Texas Jazz Educators Association. “The future of our band program is bright, and we are fortunate to have the support of the district and community, as well as the state,” Chris Pulley, Director of Bands, said. “Jazz Band is very important to offer to students as an extension and enrichment of our regular concert band program. There are different styles, rhythms and even instruments that can only be learned in a jazz program, and it creates more well-rounded musicians. It’s also a lot of fun!” About 21 students participate in the Jazz Band at BMS. Pulley plans to purchase 7-10 new songs, or charts in jazz lingo, with the grant. “Our jazz program is only about three years old, so this money will allow us to buy sheet music to build up our jazz library,” Pulley said. “It’s similar to having young readers. I want to be able to challenge our students with a variety of music to read.” A picture of the Jazz Band will be displayed at the Texas Music Educators Association convention in February along with pictures of the nine other bands that were selected across the state. Courtesy Photo The Belton Middle School jazz band performed at the City of Belton’s Christmas on the Chisholm Trail event earlier this month.