Jazz concert will bring together teen musicians

"Jazz concert FridayThe first all-island school Whidbey Island Jazz Concert is set for Friday, March 24, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Coupeville High School Performing Arts Center. Tickets: $4, available from school music teachers, or by calling 321-4030.Proceeds go to college scholarships for Whidbey Island High School seniors who plan to study music. Sponsored by the Whidbey Island Dixieland Jazz Society. Refreshments sold by BackStage. The music is pretty old - it was hot stuff to the hepcats of 60 or 70 years ago. The musicians are young - and they'll tell you it's music that's cool, way cool. Whidbey Island teens say they are totally in tune with the jazz, big band and swing music their great-grandparents loved to dance to - so much so that they turn up at school an hour early every day of the week to practice such classics as In the Mood, Take the A Train, Dakota and Sing, Sing, Sing.And this Friday, young jazz musicians from schools the length of the island will strut their stuff at the first all-island student jazz concert. Five or six high school and middle school jazz bands and ensembles from Langley, Coupeville and Oak Harbor will get together to play in a 7:30 p.m. concert at Coupeville's Performing Arts Center. Each school band will play a set, the Whidbey Island Dixieland Band will fill in between sets and Jim Freeman will be the emcee. The show is sponsored by the Whidbey Island Dixieland Jazz Society, and will help to raise money for the music scholarships the society awards to college-bound musicians each year.We're hoping to make it a rotating annual thing, said Jerry Jones of the Dixieland Jazz Society. We wanted it to be a non-competitive fun event for the kids, to give them an opportunity to hear each other play and meet kids from the other schools. There may also be other concerts in the future, including off-island school bands, which Jones hopes will attract jazz lovers from all over the island.Langley Middle School band director Jackie Minches says he's taking 128 young musicians to the concert.We're selling tickets like crazy, he said.Jazz players help young musiciansFor the past 10 years, the Whidbey Island Dixieland Jazz Society has raised money for scholarships for young Whidbey Island musicians.Since 1989 the Society has awarded 32 scholarships worth a total of more than $30,000 to local students from all three Island high schools. Individual scholarships range from $500 to $1,000.Proceeds from the first all-island student jazz concert will also go to the scholarship fund. "

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