Sunday, February 21, 2016

The Jazz Band Season Kicks Off in Pottsgrove

Photos by Evan Brandt
The awards for the 'Grove Jazz Fest Saturday await awarding.

The Jazz Band season officially began, at least for my family, Saturday evening with the 'Grove Jazz Festival.
Representatives from all the bands that performed
gather for the awards ceremony at the Grove Jazz Fest

It was a small but very local showing with middle school jazz bands from Pottstown, Pottsgrove and Spring-Ford all strutting their stuff.

Also on stage and packing a punch were the Pottstown and Pottsgrove high school jazz bands.

Here is a video sample of some of the performances:

They all sounded lovely but the Pottstown Middle schoolers really stole the show.

Pottstown Middle School Jazz Band performs Saturday.
They performed first and set a high bar to surpass.

The judges agreed and awarded them the only "Outstanding" rating of the evening.

The Pottstown middle schoolers also captured the best saxophone and best trumpet section awards, as well as two soloist awards.

Jacob Eagle received honorable mention for his trumpet solo on "Tiger of San Pedro" and David Hicks received a soloist award for his trombone solo in "Vehicle."
Pottsgrove Middle School Jazz Band

All the other bands received an "Excellent" rating.

The best trombone section award went to Pottsgrove Middle School and alto sax player Nakeem Palmer won a soloist award for his work in "God Bless This Child.".

Spring-Ford Middle School Jazz Ensemble
The best rhythm section was awarded to Spring-Ford Area Middle School and tenor saxophonist Olivia Raber won a soloist award for her performance in "the Messenger."

Lest it seem to you that the middle school bands won a preponderance of the awards, understand that Pottstown High School was the only high school being scored.
Pottstown High School Jazz Band

By the way, trumpet player Nick Wilson from Pottstown high also won a soloist award for his work in "Moondance."

As host, Pottsgrove High School performed, but only in exhibition and was not scored.

And, as Pottsgrove music director Victor Holladay explained to the crowd, the three judges had "different levels of expectation" for middle school bands versus high school bands.
As hosts, the Pottsgrove High School Jazz Band performed
in exhibition only and was not scored.

This year, I have posted all of the full YouTube videos in the Storify down below. It is more manageable and means I get to sleep a little bit on Jazz Band Nights.

Just like when they are embedded in the blog, you can click on them and listen without having to go to a new site.

Of course, you can also watch them, and recordings from previous years, on my YouTube channel  by clicking here.

Otherwise, scroll down and enjoy:

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