Jazz bands perform in busy concert season

jazz band

The jazz ensembles are in the middle of a terrific season of shows and contests. They have performed in the IHSMA Jazz Festival, Tallcorn Music Festival and the Jazz Show.

Most recently, they participated in the Tallcorn Music Festival last Friday at UNI. Jazz I received 8th place out of the 4A bands, and Jazz Too! received 3rd out of the 1A/4A second bands. Not only did Jazz I and Too! perform, but they were also able to listen to jazz bands from all over Iowa, some from as far as Sioux City.

Jazz I member Louis Redfern said, “Tallcorn Jazz Festival is my favorite so far. Tallcorn has been the only one where we’ve been able to sit and listen to a lot of different high school bands and hear how other schools sound,” he said. “The whole band gets to spend a little quality bonding time trying to park, drive around to eat, and enjoying some really great music.”

In preparation for Tallcorn, the jazz bands played on Thursday during 4th hour for the rest of the band. This was actually very good practice for them. Redfern explained, “It’s easy to stand up in front of strangers that have been listening to nervous kids all day, but to play all alone to your friends and classmates is tough.”

Before that they had their Jazz Show on Feb. 6 in the CFHS auditorium. That Saturday, the two jazz bands from the Peet and Holmes junior highs performed at 5 pm. After an intermission, Jazz Too! played, followed by the Jazz Choir and Jazz I. The show also featured guest artist Mike Michaliceck on saxophone and jazz vocalist Samantha Takes.

Both groups received a Division I rating at the Iowa High School Music Association Jazz Festival, with Jazz I receiving a perfect ballot for sight-reading as well. The festival was held at Sumner-Fredericksburg High School, on Saturday, Jan. 30, with eleven other bands participating as either class 2A or 4A (Jazz I and Jazz Too! Both as class 4A).

All these performances have come from a lot of hard work. Last year, 11 seniors out of the 17 members of Jazz I graduated, which meant this year’s band was very young. However, they have come together to play extremely well this year. One of their biggest strengths is the individual talent each section has. “Every section has at least one all-state musician; most have two,” said Redfern. “We can show off any section, which is rare.”

The jazz bands will next perform at NEIBA District Jazz Festival, on March 6 at Linn-Mar High School.

They will also play at the Pops Concert, which on Tuesday and Thursday, March 9 and 11 at the CFHS North Gym.

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