Saturday, March 22, 2014

They've Got Rhythm

Photo by Evan Brandt
Pottstown High School Jazz Band's rhythm section with their award, from left, are Jake Fetterman, Connor Christman, Maxine Bacon, Eddie Butler, Cole Sellers and Jake Wunderlich.

For its third consecutive jazz competition, the Pottstown High School Jazz Band's rhythm section was
named the best Friday night.

The award was given at the conclusion of the 15th Annual Valley Jazz fest, held at Perkiomen Valley Middle School West.

Pottstown was rated as "Outstanding," along with five other bands, and two of its soloists, trombonist Sherif Mohamed, and saxophonist Marley Bryan, were singled out, each earning an honorable mention award.

I have featured videos of Pottstown's performances at other jazz fests here many times. I will upload all three performances onto my YouTube channel and you can watch them there.

(They are worth watching. The kids played very well.)

But they also changed out one of their numbers and substituted "Buy It and Fry It" in its place, so I've embedded that video here:

The only other local band to participate in the judged portion of the program was Phoenixville High School's jazz band, which also earned an "Outstanding" rating.
The entrance to Perkiomen Valley Middle School West.
(They were on first and I arrived too late to get any video of their performance.)

Phoenixville trumpet player Donnie Jackson was also one of the three to earn a soloist award.

The second soloist award went to trumpet player Josh Weckerly from the North Penn High School Navy Band.

The third soloist award went to Logan Mohr, tenor saxophonist, from the New Hope-Solebury Jazz Ensemble.

Alto saxophonist Natalie Parker from the Quakertown Community High School Jazz Ensemble also earned an honorable mention as a soloist.
Photo by Evan Brandt
The judges at Friday night's Jazz Fest in Perkomen Valley.

Chief Judge for the night was Dick Scott, a retired music educator and the former Jazz Band Administrator for the Cavalcade of Bands, which sponsored the evening.

Glen Brumbach, director of bands at Boyertown Area Senior High School, was the second judge and the third judge was Marc Jacoby, an associate professor of music at West Chester University.

The following bands also participated and received a rating of "Outstanding:"
  • Central Bucks South
  • Methacton
  • Pennridge
  • New Hope-Solebury
North Penn Navy and Quakertown High School's jazz band earned the only two "Superior" ratings of the night and Pennridge Lab Band earned a rating of "Excellent."

Photo by Evan Brandt
The Perkiomen Valley High School and Middle School West
Jazz bands performing "Forget You" together on stage.
Because they were the hosts, Perkiomen Valley High School's Jazz Band performed but was not rated as part of the competition.

Also performing in the pit during stage changes, was the jazz band from Perkiomen Valley Middle School West, directed by Dawn Krown.

In a nice gesture, the two bands played their final number, "Forget You" together on stage as a single band.

Here is that video:

The second piece by the Perk Valley band was "If I Could" by one of my personal favorites, Pat Metheny. The soloist, on alto saxophone, was Sarah Fonda.

Here is the video:

They began their performance with "The Chicken," an odd enough-sounding title.

Soloists in this piece were Will Turner on guitar and Brian Christman on tenor saxophone.

I did shoot video of all three performances by the Perkiomen Middle School West Jazz Band as well, but I am not going to embed them here, mostly because its nearly 1 a.m.

They can be found on my YouTube channel at some point in the next 24 hours.


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  2. Wonderful! Loved the video! Congrats:)