1st Annual Capital City Jazz Festival

The 1st Annual Capital City Jazz Festival was in full swing in the SMUS gymnasium this Wednesday, featuring 153 talented young musicians from seven Victoria middle schools. The bleachers were filled with students, parents and teachers as they listened and cheered on the bands and soloists.

Our own Middle School jazz ensemble, led by Ms. Pamela Gerrits, opened the festival with three songs: “Blues for Three Brothers,” “Georgia on my Mind,” and “The Jazz Police.”

“It’s a great chance for our students to hear each other play” Ms. Gerrits said as she opened the festival.

The performances were light-hearted and fun, featuring some well-known classics like “Tequila,” “Take Five,” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If it Aint Got that Swing).” The Festival finished with a performance by all bands playing “Mercy Mercy Mercy.”

The event was very supportive, and was a unique opportunity for students to perform for other schools and for Middle School band directors to hear some fresh repertoire. Even as the festival came to a close, the spirits in the audience were high. Students stood up in the stands and waved their hands to the beat during the last mass performance that closed the festival.

The festival was a success thanks to generous community participation. Long & McQuade offered the use of keyboards, drum sets and monitors. Tom Lee Music provided the sound system including the microphones, sound-board, cable and sound technician. SMUS hosted the event and provided the food and beverages for the participants.

The Jazz Festival was focused on Middle School performances this year, but next year the band teachers are hoping to expand it into senior schools with hopes of adding adjudicators and a showcase concert.

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