Kwalikum Secondary School student Thys Westerhof, centre, and his fellow trombone players perform in the Junior Jazz Band during the school’s annual Jazz Extravaganza night on Wednesday, May 10. — Adam Kveton Photo

Kwalikum Secondary School jazz groups show what they’ve got

Annual Jazz Extravaganza at school after season of competition

Kwalikum Secondary School jazz students played some sweet tunes at their annual Jazz Extravaganza fundraising performance at the school on Wednesday, May 10.

The event came after a season of competition that saw various groups and individuals excel locally and internationally.

In February, the jazz ensembles travelled to Moscow, Idaho for the 2017 Lionel International Jazz Festival, said Brent Kellas, music teacher at KSS.

Performers from Idaho, Washington, B.C. and Alberta were in attendance. Nonetheless, the Sr. Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz band both were runners-up in their categories.

Four KSS Jazz students were selected to perform in British Columbia Educators’ Association Honour Ensembles this year, which chooses performers from students across the province. The KSS students were: Lachlan Craven, Erin Plank, Mateo Jaeckel and Logan Pike.

Several of the school’s jazz groups and performers won awards at the West Coast Jazz Festival at VIU on May 2.

The Jr. Jazz Band, Sr. Jazz Band, Grade 8 Combo and Grade 10 Combo all received Superior (Gold Medal) ratings, while the Grade 9 Combo took home a Bronze Medal rating.

Mateo Jaeckel on trombone won 50 per cent tuition towards the Berklee College of Music Summer Performance Program, and Matt O’Reilly on guitar won a $150 scholarship to the CYMC Music Camp in Courtenay, in addition to other individual award winners.

Most Outstanding Musician awards went to: Lachlan Craven — Top Jr. Trumpet Player; Marcus McDermand — Top Jr. Baritone Sax Player; Thys Westerhof — Top Jr. Trombone Player; Riley Dibble — Top Vibraphone Player; and Mateo Jaeckel — Top Sr. Trombone Player.

— NEWS staff and Brent Kellas