Thirty-seven Kwalikum Secondary music students are on their way to Moscow this week.
Students of the renowned Qualicum Beach school program will take the 14-hour bus ride to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, North America’s largest student jazz festival, held each year in Moscow, Idaho with about 6,000 students.
Teacher Dave Stewart said that as a result of their performances at the festival last year, KSS students received 14 outstanding awards in instrumental and vocal categories. They were also one of only a couple schools in North America awarded a workshop at KSS in December conducted by Grammy Award winning jazz bassist and producer John Clayton from California who has worked with the likes of Quincy Jones and Paul McCartney.
“It was awesome, he’s great with kids and such a gentle man,” Stewart said. “He shared so many great experiences and did a question and answer on all kinds of things about success and being a professional musician.”
Students will also get another full day of workshops for the bands and vocal jazz choir at the this year’s festival.
The workshops are led by the festival’s featured performing artists, and will give students a unique opportunity to associate with, and learn from, celebrities who are otherwise inaccessible to the vast majority of festival participants, Stewart said.
The program is introducing a new Music Academy Week “A Taste A Jazz” during lunch hours (11:30-12:10) this week in the KSS multipurpose room.
Each lunch hour will feature a different group selected from instrumental and vocal jazz, ensembles, combos and soloists, giving them public performing experience and the public a chance to hear the great work they are doing, Stewart said.
“This will just be a sampling of the fantastic group of kids we feature. These young students will raise some eyebrows in the next few years.”
The music will be a different from that offered at their next public performance at their Jazz Extravaganza on Thursday, March 12. The Extravaganza will showcase a wider sample of the student’s great work at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre, along with a guest ensemble of local professionals.