Fresh from their successful trip to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho, the Seaton Secondary junior and senior jazz bands recently competed at the BC Interior Jazz Festival in Kelowna.
This competition is a hotly contested Jazz Event attracting bands from all over the Interior. A group’s performance must include three pieces conforming to a swing or shuffle style song, ballad style and a style of the bands own choice.
The Junior band put it all together with incredible renditions of Big Swing Face, Without a Trace and Mas Que Nada. The audience enjoyed the senior band’s versions of My Funny Valentine, Hard Bargain and Emergency Stopping Only. This band was selected as the very last act to play at the Showcase concert honouring the festival’s top performers. They did not disappoint, earning a standing ovation with a rousing rendition of Emergency Stopping Only.
Along with top group honours, a number of Seaton’s musicians earned individual awards for musical excellence. They were Sergio Martin-Nsue, piano; R.J. Liebelt, saxophone; Shaughnessy O’Brien, saxophone; Reid Collinson, trombone; Tyrnan Forslund, alto saxophone and Jacob Laser for trumpet.
“I am always impressed by the depth of talent and skill that Geoff Dolman develops in his jazz bands,” said acting band director Brian McMahon. “These young people know how to perform at a very high level.”
Dolman has been the director of the Seaton Music program for close to 30 years.
The Junior Band and Senior bands both achieved Gold Standard marks. These marks and adjudication records were submitted to the National High School Jazz governing body. This group selects the top bands in the country to compete at the prestigious Musicfest Canada, an invitation-only event. A week after Kelowna’s competition both bands received invitations to attend the national competition.
The hard work and dedication of Seaton’s rookie and veteran musicians will culminate with their year-end concert at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre May 30. The performance starts at 7 p.m. Ticket price is $5 at the door and seating is by general admission.