``It was such a good group; we just didn't want to die,'' the wide-smiling band director said between lively sets of ``Fly Me to the Moon'' and ``It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got that Swing.''
To Magrann, it was the best jazz band she had had in her 11 years as Neshaminy band director.
To judges at the Music Festivals national music competition in New York, it was a ``superior'' group - deserving of the championship trophy.
The jazz musicians, along with two other bands Magrann directs, the school's orchestra and two choral groups, walked away from the competition in late April with enough hardware to fill a new trophy case in a school where more than half the students are involved in at least one music club.
Percussionist Michael Stoneback recalls meeting a student from another middle school. ``You're from Neshaminy?'' the student said. ``Your jazz band rocks.''
The jazz musicians know they are good, but they did not demand that the camp be exclusive.
Dan Knowles, who is entering 10th grade at Council Rock High School, plays the tenor saxophone, while Neshaminy High School student Jeff Roman plays guitar at the camp.
``It's definitely not a step down,'' Roman said about playing with seventh, eighth and ninth graders.
Indeed, as the musicians listened to a tape of themselves, Magrann snapped her fingers and tossed out more laurels. ``I've played in professional bands that haven't sounded this tight,'' she told them.
In the summer, Magrann sometimes toots her own horn - a Bach Stradivarius - when a trumpet player is absent or when she wants her students to hear a new technique.
But Magrann, a graduate of Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts, said she rarely jumped into her students' bands during school. ``I want them to feel like it's their band, not mine,'' she said.
The jazz campers say the jam sessions are more laid back than school-year practices - and their teacher less ``stressed out.''
Magrann agreed that her attitude lightened in the summer. After all, she said, the more than 50 concerts and contests she prepared her bands for are over.
Nevertheless, she switches on her teacher's voice to tell the campers occasionally that jazz is not ``all play and no work.''
``It's like algebra,'' she told them last week as she described improvisation drills. ``You can't go on if you don't get the basics.''
With the lecture out of the way, Magrann led the campers through ``Night Train,'' which included a half-dozen solo improvisations.
``Come on,'' Magrann urged them, her feet tapping wildly. ``Sneaky, be sneaky. It's a night train.''
In September, more than a third of the jazz band members will play to the beat of a different teacher. Eight members will enter Neshaminy High School.
Until then, they are clinging to their days in a middle-school wonderband. In an effort to capture the memories of an award-winning season, the group has recorded a CD.
Scheduled for release in the fall, the disc will be called, fittingly, One Great Year.