MANALAPAN, NJ—Benjamin Harrison Middle School faculty members regretfully announced Tuesday that, despite their best efforts to prevent it, the school simply had too much state and federal funding to avoid adding a jazz ensemble to its music program.

"We did not want it to come to this," principal David DeCarlo said after introducing students to Mr. Metheny, an award-winning jazz guitarist and the new school music teacher. "The children are the ones who are going to suffer. Especially little Sammy Orlovsky, who will have to play those drums where instead of using drumsticks you tap the cymbals with tiny brushes."

The school plans to use its remaining $22.1 million budget to add a sculpture wing to the art department, triple janitors' salaries, and purchase a second computer.