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Plymouth HS Jazz Bands Earn Top Honors

March 5, 2013

03/06/13 On Friday, March 1st, the Plymouth High School Jazz Ensembles competed in the annual Indiana State School Music Association’s annual jazz contest.   The jazz ensemble is under the direction of Plymouth High School band director Bryan Ames.

“This year, we took two groups to the competition; a full jazz ensemble and a jazz combo,” said Ames.  “Both groups gave outstanding performances and both groups earned the top rating of a gold award.”

  The jazz combo performed first playing two Latin selections titled “San Juan by Night” and “Summer Heat.”   The combo featured improv solos by senior guitar player Jacob Harley.  “Jacob is simply an outstanding musician.  He is so easy to work with and jazz improv comes naturally to him.  He is one of the strongest assets to the jazz program right now and I wanted to make sure that we featured him in his final jazz contest.”   Members of the jazz combo included:    Kaitlin Coombs, Aiden Osman, Charity Fish, Sarah Tanner, McKenzie Goble, and Ian Rettig on saxophones.   The rhythm section was made up of Patrick Gouverneur (drum set), Jacob Harley (guitar), and Chandler Price (bass guitar).

 The jazz ensemble had their opportunity to perform two swing pieces later in the evening.  This ensemble performed “Rock the House” and “Sax to the Max” (a piece that featured the saxophone section).   “This year, we had a huge saxophone section with six alto saxes, two tenor saxes, and two bari saxes.  So, I wanted to make sure that we highlighted this section during the performance.”  Sophomore Konnor Boomhour-Smith was featured as a guitar soloist with the jazz ensemble.   “Konnor has truly blossomed as a music performer with Jacob in the class to help teach him.   I was really pleased with Konnor’s solo and his performance at contest.”   The rest of the jazz ensemble included:  Dixie Wilkinson, Charity Fish, Jessica Beagle, Aiden Osman,  Kaitlin Coombs, and Marissa Hill (alto saxes); Sarah Tanner and McKenzie Goble (tenor saxes); Ian Rettig and Katie Bowling (bari saxes); Shelby Haisley, Traci Longanecker, and Eric Burch (trumpet); Kevin Bachman, LeaAnna Miller, and Jack Garrison (trombone);  Taylor Scott and Blake Carbaugh-Keefe (auxiliary percussion); Patrick Gouverneur (drumset); Jacob Harley, Eric Fogle, and Konnor Boomhour-Smith (guitar); Chandler Price (bass guitar).

Participation in the ISSMA jazz contest is the third of four requirements for the band program to earn the prestigious state award titled the “All-Music Award.”   Plymouth has earned this state recognition for the past nine consecutive years.  If the concert bands earn a gold award in April, the band program will have earned this state award annually for a decade.

Congratulations to the students involved in the jazz programs and good luck to the students involved in the concert bands as they prepare for the ISSMA concert band contest held on April 19th.