Local Washington jazz bands gather for the 26th annual Jazz Symposium


Harper Thomas

Sophomore Kieran Faris soloing at the Jazz Symposium.

By Harper Thomas, Hawkeye Staff

On the morning of October 29, Terrace was already full and buzzing with countless jazz students from around the district, toting their instruments and music for the 26th annual Jazz Symposium.

Several classrooms were converted into Master Classes for students playing specific instruments, the band room was set up with a stage; and the theater filled with spectators, further establishing Terrace as a jazz center for hundreds of students.

Both middle and high school jazz bands gathered to share both their progress and love for jazz music.

This event, run by the Mountlake Terrace Music Boosters, was made possible by the parent and student support. Amy Faris, the Music Booster parent representative for Terrace jazz expressed her gratitude towards all the volunteers and Darin Faul, the band director, for all their hard work.

“I think that this particular symposium is really great because it really is just coming from an educational point,” Faris said.

The event was not a competition, but rather a place to grow and appreciate the music. Students not only played for each other, but got a clinic after their performance with a professional in jazz. Clinicians invited by Faul gave feedback to each group after their performance throughout the day.

Clarence Acox Jr., a leader in jazz education at Garfield High School, was one of the clinicians invited to the event.  

“The level of the bands is much higher than it’s been before, and it was a pleasure to hear all of them.” Acox said afterwards.

Students were also happy with how the event went. Terrace freshman Caden Hargrave in Jazz 1 described how he felt privileged to be working with the clinician and the upperclassmen in the ensemble.

Students also had the chance to listen to the Central Washington University Jazz Ensemble 1 during their lunch break. Dressed in Halloween costumes, the skilled band played several fun tunes, one featuring 2014 Terrace alumni Henry Sparks on trombone.  

After his performance, Sparks described the performance as surreal. He said performing on the same stage as when he was in high school only a few years ago was humbling. However, he still felt a need to perform his best for his past band director, Darin Faul, in order to make a good impression.

Sparks expressed his care for events like this because of the benefits for high school students.

“[Students] get to see the next step, their next target,” Sparks said.

Encouraged by their feedback from their clinician, Acox, the jazz students of Terrace are eager for this upcoming year.  

Senior Max Knibbe stressed how much Jazz 1 desired to get into Essentially Ellington, a national jazz competition in New York that the band competes for a spot in yearly.  

No matter what the age, every parent and student smiled and mingled, thanks to jazz and the people who love it.