Blake Nelson solos on soprano sax with CHS Jazz Band 1 during the Reno Jazz Festival. Nelson received an Outstanding Musician award for both Jazz Band and Jazz Choir. PHOTO PROVIDED/ALESHA CULP
Blake Nelson and Matthieu Foster each received Outstanding Musician awards for both Jazz Choir and Jazz Band and the Creswell High School Jazz Choir placed fourth as CHS musicians competed in the annual Reno Jazz Festival, held April 26-29 at the University of Nevada, Reno.
”Reno Jazz Festival is an exceptional learning experience for students and directors as they are surrounded by jazz musicians and professionals,” said Creswell Music Boosters President Mandy Hoggard.
The CHS Jazz Choir, directed by Sandi Green, competed April 27 in the ”A” Division. They opened with ”Mr. Hooper’s Find It in a Minute Book,” with solos by Anastasia Newell, Kylie Hecker, Jekay Bosisto, Destin Halvorson and Matt Foster. Next was ”The Shadow of Your Smile,” and the group closed with ”Red Clay,” featuring vocal solos by Newell and Foster and a soprano sax solo by Blake Nelson.
”Both Matt and Blake were awarded Outstanding Musician awards for this performance,” Hoggard said. ”Our jazz choir adjudicator was consistently complimentary of the students’ knowledge and skill. She challenged them to try new things and they rose to that challenge.”
Also directed by Green, Jazz 1 competed April 28 in the ”C” Division. They opened with ”Mary’s Idea,” with solos by Javier Fregoso, Andrew Spriggs, Nelson and Katie Culp. Next came ”Celia,” featuring solos by Foster and Justin O’Reilly. The group wrapped with ”Bemsha Swing,” featuring solos by Nelson, Jackson Velarde and Culp.
”Matt and Blake were again awarded Outstanding Musician awards for this performance,” Hoggard said.
Although Jazz 1, which has placed well at Reno in past years, did not place, the Jazz Choir was awarded fourth place.
”This is the first time that our jazz choir has placed,” Hoggard noted. ”Some of the greatest memories surround watching how these musicians come together to support one another and work together. Seeing Jazz Choir walking off the stage knowing they had such a strong performance, they were all smiles. It was a beautiful thing.”