Truckee High wraps up jazz festival season with win | SierraSun.com

Truckee High wraps up jazz festival season with win

Special to the Sun

Within the larger 40-member Truckee High School Jazz Band, there is also a smaller group of passionate musicians who are selected by audition to perform as the THS Jazz "Festival" Band.

The award winning Jazz Festival Band consists of a dedicated group of 20 students, who volunteer to attend extra practices and rehearsals, travel to festivals to compete, and who pour their hearts and souls into their musical craft early each morning before school.

In late January, the THS Festival Jazz Band traveled to Folsom to compete in 28th Annual Folsom Jazz Festival, the largest jazz festival in California with 140 bands, seven stages, and this year a performance by special guest artist Dave Pietro Group.

The THS Festival Jazz Band earned straight superior scores, and placed third in their division, and THS Jazz Combo group, a small group of seven with vocalist Karlee Streit, also earned straight superior scores, and placed sixth out of 13 groups for their performance.

In March, THS Jazz Festival Band traveled to Cabrillo College campus to compete in the 31st annual Santa Cruz Jazz Festival. In addition to performing, the student musicians attended master classes, listened to guest artists and were able to spend a little time enjoying a local beach.

In Santa Cruz, the THS Jazz Festival Band earned straight superior scores, and was invited to play a command performance to a packed house. Jordy Guldman and Christian Nicely both received special recognition in the form of music education scholarships. The Jazz Combo earned superior and excellent ratings.

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To top off their stellar festival season, THS jazz musicians traveled to University of Nevada, Reno on April 28, to attend the oldest jazz festival in the western states, the 55th annual Reno Jazz Festival.

Students come from nine states to compete in this popular festival, which includes middle schools students, high school students, college students and professional artists.

Truckee High School Band Director Jesse Steele has grown and continuously improved the THS music program for the past three school years.

The Festival Band earned straight superior scores and placed third in their division. The Combo earned superior and excellent scores, and took first place in their division.

"Congratulations to all musicians from our award winning music groups who competed at Reno Jazz, I am proud of your strong efforts and dedication to quality performance," Steele said.

The musicians in the THS Jazz Combo are Bennett Ariza on percussion, Zarek Livak on trumpet, Sonia Breuch on bass, Christian Foley on alto sax, Guldman on trumpet, Nicely on guitar, and vocalist Streit.