Report from Corey Smith, Director of Instrumental Music:
I know it seems like forever ago, but it was only two weeks ago that the Sr. Jazz Band, Cara Dey and I boarded the bus at 6AM to drive down to Moscow, Idaho to compete in the Lionel Hampton Festival for the weekend. It was an incredibly intense festival with schools coming from all over the northwest region (and beyond!) to compete at a festival that has been running for 52 years. It is such an important part of some of these schools' programs that, unlike our local Kiwanis Festival where they give you the results immediately (based on a consensus by the 3 adjudicators on the panel), once your performance is done, the recording of your performance and adjudication is reviewed by ALL of the adjudicators at the festival (some of the largest names in Jazz Education in North America) to ensure that the scores are a proper and accurate reflection of your performance. As such, it takes two weeks for the official scores to be released and we just received them yesterday.
As a first time entrant into this festival, and with a fairly young band, I was hoping for a placement that was at least above the bottom quartile, and, if we were lucky, perhaps even in the top half of our category (we are in B category, competing against about a dozen schools with 600 students or fewer in Gr10-12). As you heard, Charlotte Anderson won an outstanding soloist award, and things keep going up from there. Although they haven't yet released rankings, they released the winners of the competition, and we are listed on the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival Website as the runner ups (behind 2 winning scores), meaning we came in 3rd place with a strong silver medal ranking in our performance (only 3.65 points off Gold)! I wouldn't have dreamed of achieving these results for our first year down to a world class festival like this, and am SO proud of the kids for all of the hard work that they put into this. They really stepped it up and showed that our little school up in West Van can punch above our weight class, and we get to have our school name on that website for the rest of the year (only Winners and Runner-ups are featured), representing West Vancouver, Canada for all band teachers to see (and believe me, we ALL check this website every year)!
***SILVER MEDAL – "B" INSTRUMENTAL JAZZ RUNNER-UP****
(you can see our name on the website that will be there for the whole year!)
Sr. Jazz Band (Idaho Roster):Grade 12
- Ryan Martin
- Jay Ryu
- Jason Tang
- Jasper Wang
- Steven Zhu
- Charlotte Anderson
- Taylor Groundwater
- Rheanna Phillip
- Riley Tam
- Natalie Co
- Selina Hung
- Ryan Lewis
- Oscar Chan
- Alwyn Tong
Thank you all for your support of the program!