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MHS jazz band wins SDSU competition

The Mitchell High School jazz band, pictured here, took first place Thursday at the SDSU/Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Stahle)

BROOKINGS -- The Mitchell High School jazz band won first place Thursday at the eighth annual SDSU/Brookings Optimist Jazz Festival.

Band director Ryan Stahle said the MHS musicians claimed first place overall in a competition in which more than 20 schools competed at three venues in Brookings. First-place soloist awards went to Peter Novak, Sid Stemper, Chris Sejnoha and Brady Dice, and the Mitchell High School trombone section was also recognized as outstanding.

"I am really proud of the kids and their achievements this year. They worked incredibly hard this year," Stahle said. "To place first at this prestigious competition is a huge honor and I am really proud of them."

Each group received an archival recording of its performance. The Mitchell band was one of two jazz bands that performed with the SDSU jazz band at an evening concert at the campus Performing Arts Center.

Some of the best artists and educators from around the country attend the festival, according to an SDSU release. The artists presented clinics in their area of expertise and performed with an SDSU jazz ensemble during the evening concert.