By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
One of the most beloved music ensembles at Moapa Valley High School, the Jazz Band, recently traveled to Las Vegas to participate in the Clark County School District Jazz Festival. The Festival included a chance for jazz groups of all types, both instrumental and vocal, to perform before judges for a score.
The MVHS band performed three pieces before a rather illustrious set of judges and received a score of “Excellent” overall. They played Critical Mass by Jeff Jarvis, Sweet Dreams by Victor Lopez, and Six by Six by Doug Beach. Each of these songs varied greatly from the others in the type of piece it was and the way it needed to be played.
“Jazz is harder than some of the other music genres because it has so many different nuances,” said MVHS Band Director Kim Delgadillo. “We played a swing piece, a funk piece, and a ballad; and the band has to be absolutely true to each of these different genres, which requires a lot of skill on their part.”
The band was judged on several categories, including quality of sound, technique, musicality, improvisation, and other factors which included stage presence and choice of music. The band scored extremely well in all categories, especially quality of sound and stage presence.
The songs featured solos by several students. The first song, Critical Mass, featured junior baritone saxophone player Zach Anderson, along with Tyler Peterson on the tenor sax and Sam Jolley on the guitar. Anderson’s bari sax was again featured during their next song, Sweet Dreams, which was their ballad. Six by Six featured Logan Geary on the trumpet, Austin Doble on the guitar, Anderson on the bari sax, and Peterson on the tenor sax.
“The pieces we chose were hard,” Delgadillo said. “We could have taken the easy route, but what we did was so much better and so worth it.”
The highlight of the day was the opportunity to work in a clinic with UNLV Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies and Studio Trombone, Nathan Tanouye.
“He was absolutely amazing and wonderful with the kids,” Delgadillo said. “We got to spend thirty minutes with him and he listened to, worked with, and interacted with the kids and did a great job. It was great for the kids to have such a positive experience from someone with his credentials.”
The jazz band will be performing alongside the MVHS intermediate and advanced bands and the symphonic orchestra in their upcoming year-end concert. The concert date has been changed from Monday, May 8, to Monday, May 22, to avoid a conflict, and will begin at 6:30 pm in the MVHS auditorium. Admission is free.