Wednesday, February 20, 2013

KCKCC Jazz Band whirlwind tour: Four concerts in 24 hours


Three high schools and the Kansas Music Educators Convention in Wichita are on a whirlwind 24-hour concert tour by the Kansas City Kansas Community College Jazz Band Friday and Saturday, Feb. 22-23.

Departing from KCKCC at 6:30 a.m. Friday, the Jazz Band directed by Jim Mair will give concerts at Turner High School at 8 a.m., Park Hill South at 11 a.m. and F.L. Schlagle at 1 p.m. before departing for Wichita where they’ll be on stage at 7:15 a.m. Saturday for an 8 a.m. concert at the Kansas Music Educators Association all-state in-service workshop.

This is the first time the KCKCC Jazz Band has been selected to perform at the all-state workshop and the second year in a row that KCKCC has had a group perform. Last year the KCKCC Choir under the direction of John Stafford II was selected for the event which attracts music educators from all over the state of Kansas.

“Selection is done by a competitive process according to education level – junior highs, high schools and colleges,” said Dr. Cherilee Walker, Dean of KCKCC Humanities and Fine Arts. “Recordings are submitted from the previous year and so acceptance takes a couple of years of building a program and that is the goal – to find groups that represent the peak of music education at various levels across the state.”

“We sent in an audition recording last year for the first time so I am pleased but it’s also taken 14 years to get the band to this level,” said Mair. “The band is really sounding good despite losing three key performers at the Christmas break and having to fill the parts and at the same time trying to maintain the continuity and camaraderie.

“Most colleges and universities recruit for the following year but at a community college you find yourself recruiting for tomorrow. Having said that, that’s what makes this job so very enjoyable. Every week is different and filled with a surprise or three. I appreciate the students musically and personally and when they give me 110 percent, hopefully they can hear and feel the results.”

Members of the Jazz Band and the high schools from which they graduated:

SAXOPHONE – Jon Kemmerer, Blue Valley; Keagan Jacobs, SM East; Harland Cooper, Leavenworth; Ellory Mohr and P.J. Churn, SM West.

TRUMPET – Jon Tobaben, SM South; Kenan Meadows, F.L. Schlagle; Brandon Parsons, Camron Christ and Colin Ford, SM North.

TROMBONE – Michael Hornick, Lansing, Trevor McDonald, Olathe South; and Geovandie Hough, SM West.

DRUM – Ismael Garcia, Leavenworth.

BASS – Jon Tennant, Leavenworth.

GUITAR – Gregory Halla, Brazil.

PIANO – Dylan Sack, Tonganoxie.