Pinedale Jazz Band & Choir perform in Powell
Northwest Jazz Festival
by Craig Sheppard
March 19, 2007
The Pinedale Jazz Band I and the Pinedale Jazz Choir traveled to Powell last weekend for the 24th annual Northwest Jazz Festival. The Pinedale band and choir come from one of the smallest schools at the festival. This year there were over 34 groups from three different states participating in the festival.
The jazz choir sang three songs for their judges and received an excellent rating.
One of their judges was John Knutson – a vocalist, pianist and published arranger. He is also the Director of Choral Music at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California. Their other judge was Christine Guter. She is a jazz musician, studio singer and educator in the Los Angeles area. She is the Director of Vocal Jazz at California State University Long Beach and also did a workshop with the Pinedale students.
Sadie Nelson was singled out to receive an award for Outstanding Musicianship for her vocal solo. She received a $140.00 grant to be applied to the 2007 Yellowstone Summer Music Camp.
The choir attended a concert put on by Vocalogy. Vocalogy is a vocal jazz quintet which brings an exciting and distinctive new sound to the world of vocal jazz.
Vocal jazz members are Kathryn Konicek, Morgan Holz, Julianne Goltz, Brindi McGinnis, Miranda Mitchell, Jaimlyn Wilcock, Sadie Nelson, Travis Hines, Mariah McKay and Ashlee Anderson. Accompanist for this group is Mrs. Jacklyn Nelson and Gena Anderson is their director.
The jazz band played for three judges and were critiqued on their overall performances as well as their improvisation solos. They received two II+ ratings and one I- from their judges.
Judges this year were David Caffey, Gerhard Guter and David Scott. Mr. Scott performs jazz and classical music in the Boston area and is an Assistant Professor of Voice at the Berklee College of Music. Gerhard Guter is a free lance musician in the Los Angeles area playing trumpet and piano. He also worked with the Pinedale band for 45 minutes in an onstage clinic. David Caffey is the newly appointed Director of the school of Music at the University of Northern Colorado and is an internationally recognized composer with over 40 published compositions.
The Pinedale band is always noted for how many soloists that perform with the band and this year was not different. Singled out for outstanding solo awards were May Huntley – alto sax, Meredith Noble – trombone, Jeff Biffle - trombone and Ken Walker – trombone and electric bass. These four each received a $250 grant/scholarship to the Yellowstone Jazz Camp this summer for their outstanding musicianship.
That night the band went to a concert which featured the Northwest College Jazz Band as the opening act. Holden Vargas, a former Pinedale HS jazz band player was in the Northwest College group, playing bari sax and soloing with the band. Marcus Stowe, another former Pinedale HS Jazz band player played trumpet in the Northwest College Jazz Band.
Then the festival audience was treated to the Jon Faddis jazz quartet. Mr. Faddis made it to the concert for he was coming from Denver, but his trio was stormed in New York. Subbing for the stranded trio was Ronnie Bedford – drums (he has played in Pinedale many times), Gerhard Guter – piano (he was our clinician and adjudicator) and Josh Paradez – bass ( Northwest College’s jazz band bass player from Cody). The audience was treated to a true version of jazz with none of these players ever playing together before that night. For only practicing together for a few minutes before the concert, the show was fabulous with Jon Faddis headlining the program with his trumpet virtuosity and whimsical demeanor.
The Pinedale Jazz Band I members are May Rose Huntley, Lizzy Cooney, Conor Raney, Kristin Corwin, Andi Noble, Will Rogers, Max Burns, Jeff Biffle, Jake Brunette, Meredith Noble, Kenny Walker, Andrew Waxe, Justin Schultz, Ashley Transtrum, Shanna Corwin, Colter Bennett, Abe Pearce, Trevor Howard, David McCarty, Brad Reints, Cody Higgins, Nate Stroud, Jordanne Steege, Morgan Holz and Kathryn Konicek. They are under the direction of R. Craig Sheppard.
We can’t forget to thank our band chaperone Sue Holz, choir bus driver Kelli Harrower and our great band bus driver and jazz enthusiast Jack Hayden who really helped make this trip a success.
Now the band and choir are getting ready Senior Fundraising Dinner Performance (April 10). The band is also getting ready for the University of Northern Colorado Jazz Festival at Greeley, Colorado (April 19-20), then both groups will perform a home concert (April 24), followed by District Music Festival (April 26-27) at Lyman. Come out and watch these young musicians when they perform April 10th at the school cafeteria and April 24 at 7 PM in the Pinedale Auditorium.