The Clarion

Jazz Band plays on despite cancelled festival

Cheney Hurley, Copy Editor

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Junior Parker Sibley and Jazz Band I were originally going to participate in a jazz festival hosted by the University of Nebraska-Omaha on Feb. 24, but inclement weather prevented them from attending. While they would have liked to attend, Jazz I has still been very active with some of their most recent performances being at Pound and Irving Middle Schools, where they played for students not currently in band or the performing arts.

“We have done this for the past three years as a type of recruiting tool and to demonstrate the level of our ensembles, as well as to show eighth grade and even younger middle school students that they don’t have to pick and sacrifice activities to focus on something else as they go into high school,” said Sibley.

They also have future performances coming up with one at Southeast on March 5 and one in April at one of the biggest jazz festivals in the country, held in Greeley, Colorado. Sibley has been awarded soloist awards for drum set and trumpet solos in both Jazz 1 and Jazz II, and outstanding musicianship awards on drums both freshman and sophomore year, which he hopes to continue this year at upcoming festivals like Greeley.

Sibley is most excited for the trip to Greeley because, “they bring in some of the top professional jazz bands and artists to play concerts at night, hire some of the top jazz performers to come judge and clinic with participating bands, and they have a festival honor band for high school students,” which he hopes to be able to participate in this year.

Sibley enjoys the environment that director Bob Krueger creates in jazz band to encourage members to be the best they can possibly be, and says that Krueger has helped shaped him into the student, person, and musician he is today.

“Southeast is lucky enough to have one of the finest high school jazz educators and directors in the country,” said Sibley, referring to Krueger. “He is extremely supportive and encouraging, and he will always go out of his way to benefit a student. I don’t know if I would have my passion or drive in music if it weren’t for him.”

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Jazz Band plays on despite cancelled festival