HS jazz band winners chosen
Following three rounds of competition in February and March, the Quakertown Community High School Jazz Ensemble has been named the winner of the 2013 SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase presented by King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC.
The 24-member band, directed by Frank C. Parker, opens for Preservation Hall Jazz Band, 7:30 p.m. May 9, during RiverJazz presented by Concannon Miller at SteelStacks.
A one-hour TV special on the SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase will be aired 10:30 p.m. April 6 on 69-WFMZ-TV.
The SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase featured 11 high school bands from Pennsylvania and New Jersey performing before a panel of judges panel and an audience at Musikfest Café, ArtsQuest Center, SteelStacks. Following preliminary rounds Feb. 17 and March 3, six bands advanced to the finals March 17.
"The level of talent in this year's competition was absolutely amazing, with the groups delighting the audiences and making it very tough for the judges," said ArtsQuest Vice President of Performing Arts Patrick Brogan.
During its performance at the finals, Quakertown impressed the judges with its renditions of "Song for Bilbao" by Pat Metheney, "A Little Minor Booze" by Willie Maiden and "The Jazz Police" by Gordon Goodwin.
Taking second-place honors in the competition was the Kutztown High School Jazz Band directed by Doug Matz.
The Freedom High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Andrew Lynn, placed third.
Judges also recognized schools and individual students with "Best solos" and "Best section" awards:
Best Jazz Vocal - Lydia Johnson, Freedom High School
Best Sax Soloist - Natalie Parker, alto sax, Quakertown Community High School
Best Brass Soloist - Max Claycomb, trombone, Quakertown Community High School
Best Rhythm Solo - Mitchell Cheng, piano, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts Charter Arts Big Band
Best Overall Solo - Patrick McGee, alto sax, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts 'Charter Arts Big Band'
Best Reed Section - Quakertown Community High School
Best Trumpet Section - Pocono Mountain East High School Jazz Ensemble
Best Trombone Section - Quakertown Community High School
Best Rhythm Section - Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts 'Charter Arts Big Band'
Copies of a two-hour "SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase," available at artsquest.org, includes the one-hour WFMZ special, additional interviews, behind-the-scenes footage not in the special and at least one complete song from the 11 showcase participants.
The SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase was presented by King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC, in association with 69-WFMZ-TV, Green Leaf Productions and the Moravian College Music Department.