CHS Jazz Band Receives Gold at ISSMA

chs-jazz-ensemble-2014The Chesterton High School Jazz Ensemble performed this past weekend at the Indiana State School Music Association’s (ISSMA) annual Jazz Festival held at La Porte High School.

The CHS Ensemble performed in what is known as the Group I division, a class of competition dedicated to the more experienced high school ensembles capable of performing advanced high school and/or college level music.

Three experienced jazz educators in all areas of big band jazz performance, including solo improvisation, adjudicated the group. The three judges unanimously award the Chesterton band a Superior Gold division rating for their performance.

The group performed three selections at the festival including an up tempo swing chart by famed jazz composer Lennie Niehaus entitled, Grand Opening. This piece featured the entire saxophone section several times. The second work was a beautiful haunting ballad by Astor Piazzolla entitled Oblivion. Robert Rosenau was featured on flugel horn throughout the entire work. The group closed their festival performance with a Latin jazz composition by Mongo Santamaria entitled Afro Blue. This piece featured two students who performed improvised jazz solos including Fred Owens on tenor saxophone, and Robert Rosenau on trumpet.

The members of the CHS Jazz ensemble include Jacob Barnes, Trey Bonnema, Kristina Carr, Loren Hodgkiss, Rowan Holsen, Jared Horvath, Olivia Kaiser, Michael Lipinski, Jackson Lucken, Bobby Maletta, Devin Moser, Fred Owens, Robert Rosenau, Collin St. Mary, Joe Stento, and Garrett Swanson. Two additional students, Jacob Espinoza, and Riley Franklin, lent their support to the ensemble by performing on auxiliary percussion instruments during the Latin Afro Blue.

The director of the CHS Jazz Ensemble is Michael Scheiber.

The next performance for the group will be at the Valparaiso University Jazz Festival on Tuesday, April 8. The group will also perform briefly as part of the third annual Duneland Foundation Gala event on Friday, April 25.

The band will complete their scheduled performance season and celebrate 41 years of jazz education in the Duneland community when they perform at their own spring concert entitled, “All That Jazz” Opus XLI. At this event, members of the CHS Jazz Ensemble will have the opportunity to work with and perform with several world-class professional musicians. This concert is slated for Saturday, May 17 at 7:00 p.m. in the Chesterton High School Auditorium. For more information on these events, contact the CHS Music Department 983-3730.

Photo: CHS Jazz Ensemble wins at festival: Representing the Chesterton High School Jazz Ensemble with their award are members, left to right, Joe Stento, Mike Lipinski, Olivia Kaiser, Jackson Lucken, Bobby Maletta and Rowan Holsen. Photo courtesy Duneland Schools.