High school musicians to swap notes with professionals at Tuesday eventIf you go The Palace City Jazz Festival concert will start at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the DWU Sherman Center in Mitchell. Tickets are $8 at the door, or $5 in advance at County Fair Food Store.
By: Candy DenOuden, The Daily Republic
Budding jazz musicians from area high schools will have the chance to play with professionals Tuesday during the Palace City Jazz Festival at the Dakota Wesleyan University Sherman Center.
Ryan Stahle, Mitchell High School’s director of bands and the South Dakota All-State Jazz Band Festival director, said this is the fourth year of the event, which started as a way to give high schoolers a non-competitive opportunity to play and learn about jazz.
“In the state of South Dakota, there’s only about four different jazz festivals … and they’re all competitive,” Stahle said.
He said 10 area high school bands will attend clinics from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with six musical “clinicians.” Those musicians are Greg Keel, Dave Hagedorn, Jeff Gottwig, Jim McKinney, Jeremy Hegg and Ken Hoyne.
Stahle said bands will get 30 minutes on stage with the clinicians, followed by one-on-one time with one of the six musicians. It’s much more personal than the typical competition setting, Stahle said, in which students get 30 minutes to set up and perform, then receive five minutes of feedback.
“They get an hour of uninterrupted time to really focus on what they need to change and improve, and what they’re doing well,” Stahle said.
The extra time and attention will help students prepare for those other competitions, Stahle said.
Following the clinics, there will be a concert starting at 7 p.m. The concert will kick off with the Brookings High School Band, then feature the Sioux Falls Jazz and Blues Society Jazz Diversity Project. Stahle said the JDP participated in the educational portion of the event the last couple of years , but this is the first time the group will perform in the concert, which featured the South Dakota Jazz Orchestra last year.
“They’re primarily Sioux Falls-based musicians,” he said.
Rounding out the show will be the MHS jazz band, which is comprised of 20 students. One of the highlights of the day for the students will be the chance to play with the six clinicians.
“They get to sit shoulder-to-shoulder with some incredible jazz musicians and share the stage with professionals,” Stahle said. “It’s a memorable experience for those guys.”
Tickets for the concert are $8 at the door or $5 in advance from County Fair in Mitchell.