Creswell High School’s Jazz Band 1 repeated as 3A Division Champions during the OMEA State Jazz Championships on May 18. Photo provided/ Creswell Music Boosters
The students who make up Jazz Band 1 at Creswell High School flexed their musical muscles last weekend, successfully defending their title as 3A division champions during the Oregon Music Educators Association (OMEA) State Jazz Championships, held May 18 at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham.
Creswell Music Boosters President Mandy Hoggard expressed the music department’s pride that Jazz 1 ”repeated our state championship from last year by taking home first place.
”These student musicians were amazing this season, as always – balancing all of their extracurricular activities with music and academics,” Hoggard said.
Under the direction of Music Director Sandi Green, CHS Jazz 1 opened their state championships set with ”I Left My Heart in San Francisco,” featuring a tenor sax solo by Destin Halvorson.
Next, they played ”A Country Boy,” with solos by Brandon Moehlmann on trombone and Halvorson on tenor sax.
Jazz 1 wrapped their set with ”Moanin’,” featuring an alto sax solo by Amy Myers.
While some competitions involve morning preliminaries and evening finals, ”this was a one-and-done kind of festival,” Hoggard noted. ”We played only once, early in the day, and had to leave it all on the stage.”
And leave it they did: ”Our scores were remarkable,” Hoggard said, adding that comments and feedback from adjudicators ”was all strong and supported the learning that has been happening all year.”
CHS Jazz 1 was one of only three bands that qualified to compete at state in the 3A division. ”These three bands were the best of the best in Oregon jazz in 3A,” Hoggard said.
The Creswell group qualified after competing in an adjudicated league jazz festival April 5 at Willamette High School.
”We received strong scores, and then our scores and recordings were submitted for consideration and a second adjudication before being selected to compete at the OMEA State Championships,” Hoggard said.
The group learned May 7 that they had made the cut and would return to defend their state 3A title.
Perhaps most remarkable about Jazz 1 students – as is the case for many talented, involved students in small schools – is how many things they do, and do well.
The same weekend as the OMEA State Jazz Championships, some Jazz 1 members were competing at the state track championships; performing in a dance recital; and participating in Hope Restored, helping to refurbish properties for local families with young children who lack the resources to do the work necessary to make their homes more safe and functional.
”What a blessing it is that we have such dedicated, compassionate and talented young people in our community,” Hoggard said, noting that Green encourages her students to maintain the high standards of responsibility and communication that enable them to do it all: sports, drama, extracurricular interests, high academics – and, of course, sustaining a winning music program.
”This winning season shows how incredible these students are,” Hoggard said. ”It was truly a joy to spend this festival season getting to know every one of these students.”