OGHS Jazz at UCM Festival
The Oak Grove High School Jazz program was successful Saturday, February 22nd at the UCM Jazz Festival. Both jazz bands performed for three judges the historic Hendricks Hall, with the Varsity Jazz Band earning a division I Superior rating.
Oak Grove's day began with a morning performance by the JV Jazz Band, where they impressively performed two selections for three judges. Director Nathan Long stated, "I'm really proud of our jazz students. Their performance was terrific and they learned so much through the process." After their performance, all three judges commented on their potential and attention to detail. Aaron Simcox, Kansas City jazz artist, commented on the group's impressive size, "It's great to see so many students interested in the art of jazz." JV Jazz performed "Rhumba Latina", soloist Trevor Dunn, and "All Blues", which featured several soloists including: Bryce Fangmann, Collin Kehl, Hunter Cox, Chelsea Stinnett, and Sequioa Masten.
After the JV performance, members of the Varsity Jazz began preparing for their performance. Students played three compositions beginning their program with "Let's Keep a Good Thing Going" with soloist Katie Kim and Brody Nieweg. Their second song featured Emily Stewart and Daniel Drury on an arrangement of the jazz standard, "Misty". The students ended their program with a song featuring soloists Katie Kim, Adam Jenkins and Tanner Johnson. "It was a very rewarding day for us," stated director Beth Jinkins. "Not only did our band receive the highest rating possible, two of our students were acknowledged for their talent with Outstanding Musicianship Awards." Students receiving these awards were: Katie Kim on piano and Emily Stewart on alto saxophone. Kim stated, "It feels really nice to be recognized by the university. I am so very blessed."
After the performances, students were treated to a lunch sponsored by the Band Boosters. Freshman Zach Jones was appreciative of the boosters' efforts, "Our boosters are awesome! They cheer for our marching band, come to our concerts and feed us after jazz fest. They're the best!"
Members of the 8th grade jazz band were invited on this field trip to see what they will be experiencing in high school. Students attended performances by many schools and learned a lot through the experience. Wyatt Russell commented, "I learned what a mute was and heard a song by Glenn Miller. We studied him on Friday, so it was cool to hear a live performance of one of his songs." Anna Richardson followed with, "I wish we could have stayed all day long!"
The next performance for the Oak Grove Jazz program will be at the Showcase of Bands Concert on March 11th at 7:00 at OGHS.