Ren Geisick wins Jazz Search West

Alumna Ren Geisick was one four winners in the the Jazz Search West competition at Yoshi’s in Oakland. Her prize is a professionally produced, engineered and recorded demo CD.

Jazz Search West is the Bay Area’s Annual Jazz Talent Search for solo instrumentalists and vocalists (15 and up). Four exciting events provide exposure to 16 artists each week during the month of March. 16 performers are selected to move on to the Semi-Finals at the Freight and Salvage in Berkeley and 8 finalists perform at the Grand Finale at Yoshi’s Oakland. 4 top winners are ultimately selected and awarded prizes designed to enhance their musical career such as a demo CD, recording studio time, full tuition to Jazz Camp West and performance opportunities.

Five Downbeat Awards for Jazz Studies

Please send a huge congratulations to our Jazz Studies Program for taking home five Downbeat Magazine awards this year.

For the second consecutive year, CJO (Concert Jazz Orchestra), was named Best Large Jazz Ensemble in the Graduate College category. Back-to-back for CJO and Jeff Jarvis!

Saxophonist Anibal Seminario won the Graduate College Outstanding Performance. Anibal is completing his MM this semester

Pacific Standard Time won for Graduate College Outstanding Performance. That makes six consecutive years that PST under Christine Guter has won either Outstanding Performance or Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

The Glynis Davies Latin Group, coached by Christine Guter, won Graduate College Outstanding Performances – Latin Group. Glynis is completing her MM this semester.

And finally, Christine Guter was Guest Director for Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble – Honors Ensemble Winner with the Iowa State Jazz Choir.

The breadth and depth and consistency of these awards over the last several years is extraordinary. Congratulations to Jeff, Christine, the entire jazz faculty, and of course, to the remarkable students in Jazz Studies.


Bluesettes Quintet Win Harmony Sweepstakes Los Angeles Regional

The Bluesettes Quintet with alumni Miko Shudo, Rachel St. Marseille, Katrina Kochevar, Ian Brekke (currently directing Jazz ‘N Tonic), and Riley Wilson are the 2015 Harmony Sweepstakes Los Angeles Regional Champions. The annual national competition draws from hundreds of vocal groups from around the country with regional competitions in eight cities. They and winning groups from each festival will be flown to perform in front of celebrity judges and a sold-out house of enthusiastic a cappella fans at the National Finals at the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Marin County Civic Center.

George and Beverly August Piano Competition

Congratulations to all who competed in the inaugural George and Beverly August Piano Competition. Adjudicator Dr. Mark Sullivan was impressed with our strong keyboard program.

The results are as follows: First (tie): Andrew Dyquiangco, Aaron Ramirez; Second (tie): Danielle Yi, Chris Maldonado; Third: Paul Blackwell, Honorable mention: Austin Kebeley

Matthew Hettwer Finalist in Jazz Trombone Competition

Matthew Hettwer advanced to the final round in the ITA Carl Fontana Jazz Trombone Competition. He is one of only three finalists (the other two are from the Eastman School of Music and Berklee College of Music). The final round will take place in Valencia, Spain, at the International Trombone Festival in July. The Carl Fontana Competition is for jazz trombonists ages 22 and under.

 

photo credit: Jimmy Emerzian

Darren Loney’s Gahr HS Band Wins State Championship

Alumnus Darren Loney led his Gahr High School Band to the Division 4 State Championship  After advancing to the California State Grand Championships they took home the Grand Champion Trophy, Gold Medal. Gahr senior flutist Sayra Rosales received the Outstanding Soloist Award. Over half the band – 53 students – were freshmen or first-year members of the group. This is only the second year since Gahr High School has restarted its competitive marching program.