Jazz One prepping for prestigious December performance in Chicago

Jazz One is preparing to perform for The Midwest Clinic in December. The Midwest Clinic on McCormick Place West in downtown Chicago is a music conference hosting both band and orchestra events from all 50 states and up to 40 countries. This year, the Jazz One band and its 18 students are scheduled to attend the event and their trip will last from Dec. 19 to 20. 

“When I first heard about The Midwest Clinic, all I could think about was what I had to do to prepare,” junior trumpet player Taylor said. “I was also just excited for the trip we would get to go on and the great performance I knew we would put on.” 

So far, the band has been rehearsing and practicing eight songs for The Midwest Clinic, and is scheduled to play from 10 to 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 20.

Jazz One instructor Kyle Engelhardt said, “This year’s Jazz One students had to follow through with that commitment and be ready to play an amazing set of music in front of an international audience. The students in the band work hard and have fun, and are dedicated to playing jazz at a high level. We are excited to share the stage in Chicago with a couple of outstanding guest soloists who are professional jazz musicians.”

According to Engelhardt, a 20-minute recording was sent in last March, which then was reviewed blindly. In addition to that, three letters of recommendation from professional musicians who knew the band were also submitted, along with three years’ worth of programs Jazz One previously performed. This year, only three high school jazz bands were accepted by the executive board, the other two being high school jazz bands from Pebble Hills, Texas, and West Lake, Calif.

“I love seeing and hearing the daily progress of everyone from rehearsal to rehearsal, and it’s gratifying to work with students dedicated to learning and performing at a high level,” Engelhardt said.

The last time a band from Iowa participated in The Midwest Clinic was back in 1993 by the Valley High Jazz Ensemble I from West Des Moines.

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