During the past 23 years, the Foxboro High School Jazz Ensemble established itself as one of the premiere high school jazz bands in New England. The group has received Gold Medals in Massachusetts jazz band festivals for 22 years. Directed by Stephen C. Massey, with the assistant director George Murphy, the group finished first at the University of New Hampshire Jazz Festival for 14 years. Performing at International Music Festivals in Montreal, Toronto, Washington DC, Williamsburg, Philadelphia, New York, and Virginia Beach the Jazz Ensemble has consistently received Gold medals and first place awards. In April of 1992 the Jazz Ensemble traveled to England to participate in the Harrogate International Youth Music Festival.
In January of 1994 the band was invited to perform at the International Jazz Educator's Annual Convention held in Boston. In July of 1995 the band was invited to perform at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux Switzerland. The 1997, 1998, and 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 Bands were selected via audition tape to participate in the finals of the Essentially Ellington Festival at Lincoln Center in New York City. The FHS group finished 1st and 2nd, 5th, 4th and 5th respectively, and had the opportunity to perform in the evening concert with Wynton Marsalis as guest soloist. In the spring of 1998 the band performed the Sacred Concert Music of Duke Ellington with the Newton North Choir directed by Richard Travers. The performances included a showcase at the Massachusetts Music Educators Concert in March and a combined performance with the Ken Hadley Band and professional vocal soloists at the Emmanuel Church in Boston in June, 1998. The Boston Globe listed the Sacred concert performance as one of the top 10 jazz events of the year in Boston. The 2000 Band toured England and Scotland for 10 days. The 2001 Jazz Band commissioned a work by Iyn Inserto as part of a national composer's alliance. This work was premiered at the FHS Jazz Festival on May 9, 2001.
In addition to these featured and adjudicated performances, the group has maintained an extremely active performance schedule of 20 - 25 performances per school year featuring a number of distinguished guest artists including: Ernie Watts, Alan Dawson, John Fedchock, Mike Monaghan, Jon Faddis, Jerry Bergonzi, Phil Wilson, Jeff Stout, Cecelia Smith, Andy MaGee, Dick Johnson, Grey Sargent, Ted Casher, Kim Richmond, Jeff Holmes, Clay Jenkins, Herb Pomeroy, Dave Pietro, Tiger Okoshi, Wycliffe Gordon, Bobby Shew, Victor Goines, Greg Hopkins and vocalists Candy Stout and Rebecca Parris.
Every spring for the past 5 years, the band has performed at Flanagan's Jazz club with the Ken Hadley Big Band. The Jazz Ensemble has recorded 3 record albums and three CD's, and performed for a variety of University and Music Education Seminars. Alumnae have gone on to perform in distinguished college jazz bands all over the country, including Eastman, Miami, Ohio State, Univ Mass, Univ of New Hampshire, New England Conservatory, Berklee, MIT, Manhattan etc. Some of our high school students have studied arranging, and numerous student compositions and arrangements have been performed over the years. The Jazz curriculum at FHS includes 2 jazz bands, a jazz choir, 3 jazz combos, and improvisation classes. A week long Summer Jazz Improvisation Workshop is an annual highlight. An outstanding Adjunct Private Teaching Faculty is available to all FHS students. All members of the Jazz Ensemble also perform in the FHS Concert Wind Ensemble and Marching Band.
The 11–12 Jazz Ensemble has 20 members in grades 9 - 12 (Ages 15 - 18). The instrumentation is 6 saxes, 4 trumpets, 5 trombones, 4 rhythm. The group's repertoire includes approximately 55 arrangements representing all of the major styles in the big band jazz tradition.