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Jazz Katz Attend Lionel Hampton

Manson Jazz Katz at Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival 2016

               “My favorite clinic was the performance by the band Tower of Power,” says trumpet player Anselmo Pacheco, a junior in the Manson Jazz Katz.  This past weekend weekend, the 7th-12th grade group attended the 49th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival on the campus of the University of Idaho in Moscow, ID.  The festival that bears the name of legendary vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, attracts groups from as far North as Alaska and Canada and as far East as Utah, from elementary to collegiate age.  While there, students have the opportunity to master classes from professional jazz musicians, listen to live performances, and perform for adjudicators.

               Another favorite clinic was "Stage Performance” presented by legendary jazz singer Barbara Morrison.  In this class, students learned techniques on how to better engage an audience.  This came in handy for Jazz Kat tenor saxophone player, Megan Clausen, a freshman.  Megan said, “It was the first time I felt comfortable on stage, performing music.”  These kind of experiences are not rare at this festival.  Director Matt Brown comments, “Of the 5 times that I have taken students to this festival, it seems they have always come back with a deeper understanding of jazz and a renewed passion for playing their instruments.”

               On Saturday, 79 jazz bands from around the United States and Canada performed on and around the campus of the University of Idaho, in front of high quality judges.  After each group performed, they were given a 20 minute clinic from one of the adjudicators.  Manson got up early so they could listen to other groups, including a performance from the Cashmere High School Jazz Band under the direction of Kent Chalmers.  When it came time to perform, Manson made our community proud, with a very strong performance, especially compared to other B classification schools.  The adjudicators were especially impressed with the group’s ability to blend with one another during the performance.

               When asked if they would like to attend next year’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, the band answered with a resounding YES.  As the whole experience costs about $3,000, “the planning for fundraising will need to start now,” says Brown.  The Jazz Band would like to formally thank all of the donors that made this event possible, including private donors, businesses and anyone who bought coffee from the band.  Also, a big thank you to chaperones Lorrie and Marty Cochran, Honorina DeJesus, and Travis Schoenwald, as well as bus driver John Jamieson.  All of Renee Elia’s volunteer hours with the band have made a huge difference in their musicality.  The band looks forward to Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival 2017!