Monday, May 27, 2024

Whitefish High musicians selected for All-State Jazz Band

Whitefish Pilot | January 12, 2022 1:00 AM

Whitefish High School has yet again a strong representation of musicians selected to participate in the prestigious Montana All-State Jazz Band.

Five Whitefish students recently got the news that they would be participating in the All-State Jazz Festival, which will be held at Hellgate High School on Jan. 13-15. The festival is run by a committee of band directors from around the state together with the University of Montana faculty.

The student musicians selected include senior Niko Hunter on drumset, senior Dashiell Schindler on trombone, senior Emma Trieweiler on vibraphone, senior Aidan Calaway on baritone saxophone, and junior Henry Seigmund on tenor saxophone.

Whitefish High School Band Director Matthew King says five students is the most Whitefish has ever had representing the school in the All-State Jazz Band; that number combined with the students making the regular All-State Band ensemble in the fall makes seven total students that have the all-state honor this year. King says that is a record for WHS.

He explained that the students submit a challenging set of audition excerpts in a variety of styles along with an improvisation section that is then adjudicated by a panel for selection.

“This honor is representative of years of discipline, hard work, and development,” King said. “The students put in many hours to practice and perfect the auditions, mostly on their own, then came together with me to record and submit them.”

Once at the festival, the students are placed into four ensembles, each of which has a renowned guest director to lead them through two days of rehearsals which culminate in a feature concert on Saturday afternoon.

Ensembles are selected by auditions from students of all school sizes across the state of Montana. Columbia Falls also had two students accepted into the All-State Jazz Band, which will make up the contingent from the Flathead Valley.

“I would like to stress how proud I am of the individual excellence these students strive for — this is a big honor for them and our band program,” King said. “Whitefish is well represented musically in the state of Montana.”