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Whidbey Jazz Concert showcases five island high school bands

"Toe-tapping big band jazz band fans can get a large dose of their favorite music at the Whidbey Jazz Concert, coming to the South Whidbey High School auditorium on Friday, March 23 at 7:30 p.m. For the second year in a row, the Whidbey Island Dixieland Jazz Society will be sponsoring this all Island event. Participating will be jazz bands from area schools in South Whidbey, Coupeville and Oak Harbor. Last year's sold-out performance was held at the Coupeville Performing Arts Center. Local jazz fans will be able to enjoy Brent Purvis and his South Whidbey Jazz Band in their first public performance since garnering first place awards at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival. Conductor of Fun Jim Freeman returns to emcee this event, which is the only one of its kind to feature musicians from all the island school districts. The concert is not a competition but a celebration of talented youth and classic jazz music -- Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and others. Between acts, the music never stops as the Whidbey Island Dixieland Jazz Society keeps your fingers snapping to their lively tunes.The proceeds from the evening of music will be distributed in the form of college scholarships for Whidbey Island high school seniors. More than $27,000 in scholarships have been awarded during the last decade. South Whidbey's Gina Biggs was the recipient of one of last year's $1,000 awards. Prior southend winners have included Eric Bigger in 1999, Eric Lindsay and Leann Hymas in 1998, Trysten Matthews and Trevor Thompson in 1997, Jennifer Johnson and Denice Doll in 1996, Cyndi Wimberly and Emily Robertson in 1994, Karyn Fideline in 1993, Jennifer Zwolinski in 1992 and Amy Windecker in 1990.Whidbey Island Dixieland Jazz Society will also be selling video tapes of the concert (all five bands) including pre-show and intermission interviews with audience, students and band directors. The cost of $10 will add to the scholarship monies.To obtain tickets, contact any area school music teachers or call Steve Tarr at 321-7128 or Louis Hagler at 321-4030. Tickets are $5. Family discounts will be available at the door. "

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