For 30 years the Sun Prairie Jazz Festival has been inspiring student musicians. February 18, 2023 was a celebration of both the history and future of this festival. Clinicians included Michael Brenneis - drums, Katie Ernst - bass, Dave Hammond - drums, Kellin Hanas, trumpet, Steve Horne - trombone, Jim Piela- saxophone, Marty Robinson - trumpet, Chris, Rottmayer - piano, Lauren Sevian - saxophone, Reggie Thomas - piano, Dan Wallach - saxophone. 16 bands and over 350 students joined us from Sun Prairie, Brookfield, Columbus, Concord, Il, Fond du Lac, Menomonee Falls, Middleton, Waunakee, and West DePere.
30th Annual Jazz Festival
Jazz I Heads Back to NY
Jazz Ensemble I has been selected as 1 of 15 finalist bands to participate in the Essentially Ellington Festival May 11-13 in New York. We are so excited to have these students make their mark on our program and perform in New York at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
This marks the 14th time that Sun Prairie Jazz has participated as a finalist band.
DSO, Ellington, and Garver
What a great night of Swing! Jazz I and the Darren Sterud Jazz Orchestra teamed up to present a concert at the Garver Feed Mill in Madison. A sold out crowd enjoyed this holiday themed program. Jazz I performed an opening set, followed by the DSO presenting Duke Ellington's Nutcracker.
Sammy Miller Brings his Congregation
Sammy Miller spent two days working with students at Patrick Marsh, Prairie View, Central Heights, as well as Sun Prairie East and West High Schools. Students were involved in performances and masterclasses. Sammy's way of engaging kids and spreading joy through music was on full display! The 2-day residency culminated in a concert featuring volunteer students who had participated in any of the clinics over the past several days within the schools.
29th Annual JazzFest
What a great return to our live Jazz Festival format! This year marked 29 years of the Jazz Festival and we were excited to host bands from Columbus, Fond du Lac, Grafton, Menomonee Falls, Oak Creek Wausau West, West DePere, and Waunakee. Clincicians included Greg Abate - alto saxophone, David Lown - tenor saxophone, Dan Wallach - alto/bari saxophone, Tatum Greenblatt - trumpet, Marty Robinson - trumpet, Darren Sterud - trombone, Reggie Thomas - piano, Rick Haydon - guitar, Laurie Lang - bass, and Jim Huwe - drums.
In addition to the school performances and master classes, the teacher track returned with a demonstration group from Cardinal Heights Upper Middle School.