Saturday, March 8, 2014

And the Award Goes To.....

Photo by Evan Brandt

Daniel Boone Senior Alyx Blumstock, left, and Junior Megan Jolivette prepare to give out the awards at the end of the 43rd Annual Sound Spectacular Jazz Band Festival at Daniel Boone High School Friday.

If awards were given for best sound system (microphones work when they’re supposed to) and best program (handy fill-in sheet makes keeping track of awards easy) the Daniel Boone High School would win them both.

Both were awaiting those who stopped by for the 43rd Annual Sound Spectacular Jazz Festival, along with some stellar performances by area bands.
Photo by Evan Brandt

THE JUDGES TABLE: The judges for the evening were 
Chuck Dressler, Bill Powers and Bob Wagner.

Two bands, the Pottstown High School Jazz Band and the Boyertown Area Senior High School Big
Band, were both rated as “superior,” the highest rating given by judges.

The Phoenixville Area High School Jazz Band earned a rating of “outstanding” and the Daniel Boone High School Jazz Ensemble was the host, so it was not rated, although it did perform Friday night.

Boyertown earned both the outstanding saxophone section and the outstanding trumpet section awards while Pottstown earned the outstanding rhythm section award.

North Penn High School won the outstanding trombone section award.

Photo by Evan Brandt
There was a pretty good size crowd gather as the night went on.
Two saxophonists, Kelli Hess of Boyertown and Marley Bryan of Pottstown, earned outstanding soloists awards, as did Donnie Jackson of Phoneixville.

Honorable mentions for outstanding soloists included drummer Jake Wunderlich from Pottstown and
Bennett Stump, also a drummer, from Wilson High School.

Because I have posted the three songs performed by both the Pottstown and the Boyertown bands twice before on this blog, I will not embed them here tonight.

I will be uploading them to YouTube (Perhaps tomorrow, it’s very late) and you can view them on my YouTube channel.

Also, I will make a playlist of the area bands from the show.

Photo by Evan Brandt 
The ABC Select Jazz Band from Amity Elementary School also played.
Because I could slip out in between when bands like Upper Merion and Ephrata were playing, I was
able to re-charge the batteries in the mighty iPhone and so was able to capture a today of 12 performances on video.

Instead, I will embed the videos of Phoenixville and Daniel Boone, because many of you will not have heard them before.

But before we get to any of that, I should mention that two of the district's elementary school bands played in exhibition, the Birdsboro/Monocacy Elementary Band and the ABC Select Jazz Band from Amity Elementary.

I was charging my battery when the Birdsboro school played but I did get a video sample of the Amity group. Here they are playing "Salsa Special."

And now on to the high schools.

First up is Phoenixville, which began with a singer with a lovely voice for a piece called "Afternoon in Paris," and although they announced her name, it did not appear in the program, so I cannot share it with you.

The soloist names the program did share were Donnie Jackson on trumpet, Karl Sewick on guitar and Spncer Rakoczy on drums.

Despite what is said in the program, this was followed by a number titled "Lady Bird." The soloists are Nick Kissel on trombone and Jake Gould on alto saxophone.

And finally, a very nice work called "Living in a Dream," with some truly excellent trumpet work by soloist Donnie Jackson. It's easy to see (or, rather, hear) why he won an outstanding soloist award.

And now its on to the hosts, Daniel Boone High School and its Jazz Ensembl.

They began with a number named "Pegasus," by Hank Levy. Soloists are Alyx Blumenstock on baritone saxophone, Nichole Risley on flugel horn and Bethany Hallwell on Flute, as well as Justin Frey on alto saxophone.

This was followed by "Unit 7" by Sam Jones, which features Justin Frey as a soloist in alto saxophone.

And Daniel Boone finished up with "A Time for Love, which features James Kalenda on trombone as the soloist.

Oh yes, as for the schools outside The Mercury coverage area, they were rated as follows: Brandywine Heights High School earned an "outstanding," Reading High School earned an "outstanding," Wilson High School earned a "superior," North Penn High School earned a "superior," Ephrata High School earned an "outstanding," and Upper Merion High School earned an "oustanding."

All right, so its 2:15 a.m.

Here's your damn playlist of all the tunes played by Pottstown, Boyertown, Phoenixville and Daniel Boone:

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