Jazz bands perform at longest running festival

Jordyn Carias/Staff Writer
The Tallcorn Jazz Festival is the oldest, continuously running high school jazz festival in the nation and it returned again on Feb. 20-21.
This year, the CFHS Jazz I group led by Kyle Engelhardt placed sixth out of 18 groups in the 4A category. The results for the Jazz Too! group led by Gerald Ramsey are not yet known.
The festival is divided into two categories, one for first and one for second jazz bands. The bands compete with others in their classes.
In a change to the previously acting three judges, this year two judges evaluated each class, and after performance the bands met with a clinician who went over some technical topics with the band.
“We’ve had some amazing soloists before, and we still have bunch this year. The judging is always a little weird at these things, so we’re just gonna have fun,” sophomore baritone saxophone player Louis Redfern said.
The band had particular strong suits to hold to other bands competing that give them a clear advantage.
Senior trumpet player Rhys Talbot was confident in both bands prior to the perfomance.
“The way I see it, we don’t have to place first as long as we know we’re the best band there. CF’s always showed up strong for Jazz I and Too!. Jazz Too! got first in the second band category two years ago, and Jazz I’s finished toward the top as long as I can remember. One of the band’s strong suits is that everyone in the band has a strong feel for what we’re playing, and because of this, we adapt quickly and we can adjust for a desired sound by ear without anyone having to tell us step-by-step what to do,” Talbot said.
Senior alto saxophone player Leigh Sires was also confident before the performances.
“This will be my third year playing in Tallcorn. I think the band will do well this year because we have a lot of great players and fun songs; however, the judging is always tough. We really don’t have any weak sections or players in the band, which is a strong suit. Everyone loves to play, which always makes it fun.”
Ramsey was pleased with the performance of both Jazz I and Jazz Too!.
“The kids did a good job. Both bands played well. They got some really positive comments from the judges,” Ramsey said.
“When it comes to our band, I think that all the players can agree that music is our mistress and she plays second fiddle to no one,” Talbot said.

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