Pinedale Jazz Band performs
UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival
by Craig Sheppard
April 25, 2005
The Pinedale High School Jazz Band traveled to Greeley, Colorado last week to participate in the 35th annual UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival. This festival, put on by University of Northern Colorado and the city of Greeley, is the largest event of its kind in the nation. This festival brings together internationally recognized artists, award-winning clinicians, and over 300 college, high school, and middle school big bands, combos and jazz vocal groups. Each year over 7000 participants enjoy the concerts, performances and educational workshop sessions.
The band performed four tunes for their judges and received a I rating and a II rating. They also received two IAJE solo awards with Holden Vargas earning one on his bari sax and Forrest Michnevich receiving one on his trumpet. One of the bandís judges was Brad Goode. He is the director of Jazz Studies at Colorado University in Boulder, Colorado. The other adjudicator worked with the band and gave them a half-hour clinic on jazz improvisation. He was Jon Gudmundson, director of Jazz Studies and Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Utah State University. He has served as a clinician and featured soloist across the nation. There are five different adjudication rooms at this festival with each venue featuring different groups at the same time. The room the Pinedale group played in had mainly large schools from Colorado that have more population in their high schools then in the entire town of Pinedale. There were groups from 14 different states in attendance this year.
The Pinedale band played well and represented their community in a fine manner. They were definitely one of the smallest schools at the festival (if not the smallest), but they did not play or act that way.
Students performing in Pinedale Jazz Band I at this festival were Mark Pape, Kendall Brunette, May Rose Huntley, Coulter Stroud, Joe Pearce, Conor Raney, Holden Vargas, Jeff Biffle, Andy Waxe, Joe Steege, Meredith Noble, Ken Walker, Marcus Stowe, Colter Bennett, Paul Ziegenfelder, Abe Pearce, Cody Higgins, Eli Mrak, Nate Stroud, Lawson Williams, and Forrest Michnevich. They are under the direction of R. Craig Sheppard.