Heights High musicians meet alumnus and Super Bowl champion Jason Kelce

Junior trumpet player Xavier Thomas with Heights alumnus Jason Kelce, who is wearing his Heights High letter jacket. [Photo courtesy CH-UH city school district.]

The annual Heights High Instrumental Music Department’s (IMD) Spring Tour (Feb. 21–24) featured an athletic element this year, as band members had a chance to meet with Jason Kelce, Heights High alumnus (2006) and Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl Champion. As a student, Kelce played baritone saxophone in the school’s jazz band.

Last fall, when Band Director Brett Baker learned that the spring tour would be in Philadelphia, he texted Kelce to see if they could catch up for a few hours during the band’s visit to Central High School in North Philadelphia.

A few weeks before the visit, Baker asked Kelce if he would like to play baritone saxophone with the jazz band during its visit.

“He’s always up for something fun,” Baker said. “He was great with the kids, signing autographs and taking photos. He’s still a musician; he even played sax in a recent Mummers parade in Philly.”

Junior trumpet player Xavier Thomas was impressed with Kelce’s playing, and said, “He did a great job, and he was really chill and fun.”

Eva Bambakidis, who also plays trumpet, said she thought that meeting a musician who happens to also be a star football player was exciting. “He was super nice and he was a bridge between our two schools,” said Bambakidis.

Besides meeting Jason Kelce, the Heights musicians heard the Central High musicians play, and talked about music with them. “They are top-notch musicians,” said Bambakidis, “and it was fun to see them play, then to talk to them. We had a lot in common.”

The four-day tour also included master classes at Temple University, a Philadelphia Orchestra concert, and sightseeing.

Joy Henderson

Joy Henderson is the parent/community liaison for Heights High.

Read More on Schools
Volume 11, Issue 4, Posted 10:24 AM, 03.29.2018