The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.

The Hawkeye

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Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival 2010

Jazz one performs at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.
Jazz one performs at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.
Jazz one performs at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival.

During the past weekend, in the small town of Moscow, Idaho, the 43rd Annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival brought together several thousand people to celebrate the musical magic of jazz. Thursday morning Dynamics, Accents, and Jazz Ensembles I and II took the 7-hour bus ride across Washington and sacrificed two days of school in order to demonstrate their talent and perform along with countless other schools from the United States and Canada. That evening they were treated to two outstanding

groups that sparked inspiration within the hearts of all in attendance. Al Gemberling, the head of the University of Idaho’s music department,  gave a speech and got the audi- ence into the jazz atmosphere with the powerful quote, “Music is a language, sometimes intimate, often boisterous, always layered with experience and life profoundly lived.” After the concert everyone departed the Kibbie Dome with a warm, content aura about them; excited for the experiences that lay ahead.

At 6 a.m. the following morning the choirs got up and got ready for their tremendously packed day. The morning was filled with solos from Kassidi Rhinehart, Alix Deenin, and Ariana DeBoo. Despite catching a cold, DeBoo received oustanding scores. All three performers got substantial feedback from well-known and respected professionals in order to further hone their vocal skills. After a lunch break the groups headed to the LDS Stake Center to get ready for group performances. Dynamics, directed by TJ Sullivan, blew away the audience three superb songs. First they sang “How High The Moon,” which featured vocal solos from Gabe Much, Alan Garcia, Tennyson Morin, and Alix Deenin. Second they sang “Modina,” which featured a chilling a cappella introduction. Lastly they sang “Corner Pocket,” which featured vocal solos from Ariana DeBoo, Tennyson Morin, and Miranda Trout.Dynamics received superior scores and excellent critiques from all the judges.

Following Dynamics was Accents who sang “Straighten Up And Fly Right,” “Old Devil Moon,” and “Tenderly.”“Old Devil Moon” featured vocal solos from Kelsey Wilson and Sarah Swanberg as well as a flute solo from Aleena Wolfe. Their scores fell under the same highest quartile as Dynamics. The groups then headed to the Kibbie Dome to hear who would be selected to perform in the winner’s concert. To virtually everyone’s dismay, since last year the rules had been altered so that there was essentially no competitive element to the festival. The winner’s concert had been changed to an selections concert that didn’t feature the top groups, but instead groups the judges selected for special recognition.

Dynamics was expecting to win for the fifth consecutive year and when they learned they were not selected, most students were outraged. Senior Miles Erickson said he felt “…[the non-competitive rules] defeated their [the Dynamics’] purpose.” Senior Vivianne Nguyen boldly stated, “What’s the point of the festival then? To learn how to improve?” Junior Shelby Windom closely echoed Nguyen stating, “It’s almost like we came all this way and paid money for nothing but a performance and a few score sheets.”

The evening concert featured world-famous performers Cyrus Chestnut and Dee Daniels. However, due to exhaustion and discouragement, the groups left at intermission.

While choir was competing band was at tremendous workshops, their day of competition was still ahead. Early Saturday morning the bands got up and got ready for their stressful and hopefully rewarding day.  First to perform was Jazz 1, directed by Darin Faul. They made their mark with the first of many superior performances. They had in store three songs, all expertly prepared. First they performed “Nowhere Fast,” which featured

solos from Jack Walters and Jesse Anderson. Second they played “After All,” which featured solos from Walters and Anderson once again. Lastly they performed their showstopper, “Old Man Blues,” which featured solos from Kendall Irby, Jack Walters, Skye Lewis, Forest Jackson, and Skyler Floe.

Jazz 1 received phenomenal scores and countless words of praise from the judges. Following Jazz 1 was Jazz 2 with three songs of their own. Their first score was “Portrait of Louis Armstrong,” which featured solos from Kendall Irby and John Vance. Second was “Blue Flame,” which featured solos from Armondo Ramero, Garrett Mason, and Camden Weiss. Lastly they performed “Jack the Bear,” which featured solos from Unji Jung, Joe Clinch, and Armondo Ramero. They also received stupendous scores and placed among the lead jazz ensembles.

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After the group performances the bands went to listen to various solo performances all around the festival. Soloists included Jesse Anderson and Kendall Irby on trombone, Taylor Call on trumpet, Jack Walters on saxophone, Scott Swanberg on bass, and Kyle Scheerer on guitar. Jack Walters received a perfect 10 in every judged category. Also, in the midst of the solos was a combination performance featuring Call on trumpet, Walters on clarinet, and Irby on trombone. Their combo also received

great recognition.

The competition aspect for the bands was not as altered as it was for the choirs, which came as quite an excitement to the instrumental members. Terrace musicians exploded in cheer when they heard that Jazz 1 was selected to perform on stage in front of the entirety of attendees

at the festival. Jack Walters was also selected to perform at Hamp’s Club, an area adjacent to the stage for outstanding soloists. Jazz 1 was requested to perform “Old Man Blues,” which they played with unmatched spirit and passion. The feeling was even more enhanced in the members due to the

fact that Jazz 1 was unable to compete last year because both of their drummers were ill.

Following the selected soloists concert was a final concert featuring the New York Big Band and Dee Daniels. Nothing but utter joy could be felt throughout every member of the bands.

Senior Jesse Anderson encompassed the feeling perfectly, “When you play jazz, it brings out a certain happiness that you just can’t attain from other

activities. And when you hear it being played by the best in the world 10 feet in front of you it inspires and touches my soul in a way that words can’t explain.”

Although the bands and choirs had quite contrasting experiences they nonetheless got t experience jazz in a way few people get the chance to do

in their entire life. Hearing and learning from the world’s best, being judged by the most qualified of adjudicators, and getting to show what their groups could do is a utopia that must be lived rather than told. The underclassmen have a whole year to use what they have learned and

better themselves for next year’s festival. For everyone, the magic of Lionel Hampton left its mark in the hearts and spirits of everyone who attended.

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