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Young South Whidbey musicians excel at jazz fest

Chris Harshman introduces his band, the South Whidbey High School Jazz Ensemble, onstage at the 2011 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho. - Photo courtesy of Tracy Rock
Chris Harshman introduces his band, the South Whidbey High School Jazz Ensemble, onstage at the 2011 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Tracy Rock

Among a sea of instruments, South Whidbey stands out in the world of jazz.

The South Whidbey High School Jazz Ensemble and the Langley Middle School Jazz Band performed at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho last weekend under the direction of bandleaders Chris Harshman and Jessica Foley, respectively.

Lucy Rock is a jazz pianist with the high school jazz ensemble and combo. Her mother Tracy Rock was there.

“I found the performances that night inspiring,” Tracy Rock said.

“You could feel the energy, and that they were putting their heart and soul into the music they played.”

Rock recalls Harshman talking about feeling a shift happen while the students were performing onstage.

“I was very proud of every one of the musicians up on that stage from South Whidbey,” Rock added.

The student musicians performed for adjudicators, who provided feedback and critical evaluation of the performances. Based on their musical execution, expression and presentation, instrumental ensembles and combos were invited to perform at the Young Artists Concert, including South Whidbey High School, Instrumental Ensemble Division A and Combo, Division A, both directed by Harshman. The bands performed among other singled-out performers who attended the festival from throughout the United States and Canada.

Rock said she saw her daughter Lucy move to a new level of confidence while she was at the festival.

“The experience was truly a gift to her, her fellow musicians and for those of us who had the good fortune to be there,” she said.

The Young Artist Concert and the Hamp’s Club performances are available for viewing at http://www.uidaho.edu/jazzfest/videosphotos#photos.

For more information, visit www.uidaho.edu/jazzfest.


 

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