Again this year, the Festival will open with a two-hour Educational Concert. In the past, concerts have been given by such notables as John Royen, Louis Ford, James Dapogny, Hank Troy & Wende Harston, Jeff Barnhart and many others. This year’s will feature presentations by several of the Student Clinic instructors, plus a special performance by the Clinic Faculty Band and a jam session with both instructors and students. It all starts at noon on Friday in the Elks Ballroom and promises to give the Festival a memorable launch.
Student Clinic Faculty Band
Andy Schumm – trumpet
Eric Staffeldt – trombone
Paul Midri – trombone, drums
Dennis Lichtman – clarinet
Joe Midri – sax
John Reynolds – banjo, guitar
Jeff Barnhart – piano
Marty Eggers – bass
Bill Clark – tuba
Wende Harston – vocals
Year-round Education Program
The Festival Mission Statement includes the words: “Promote jazz music and live performances with educational programs for both listeners and young performers.” Each year the Education Committee works to satisfy this mission, with special attention given to building interest among young people and helping student musicians.
Included in the range of programs and activities over the years have been concerts at many area elementary and middle schools, most notably a series featuring the Denver Jazz Club Youth All-Stars, giving us young people performing for younger people.
In addition, there have been many instructional events providing student musicians with the opportunity to learn from established professionals, including many members of the Queen City Jazz Band. These sessions have taken the form of workshops and “Combo Days” at Evergreen High School and several area middle and elementary schools.
One of the highlights of 2016 was a series of visits to Deer Creek Elementary School where members of the Education Committee met with three classes of fourth graders and introduced them to six different instruments. Students were allowed to experiment with each instrument and were also treated to a slideshow. Most reported they are now anxious to join the band in fifth grade.
Again this year, Festival Week will include two Student Clinics with professional instruction on virtually every instrument. All of the instructors will be appearing in the Festival, which means students will be learning from such great talents as Jeff Barnhart, Marty Eggers, Wende Harston, Joe Midiri and Rory Thomas to mention just a few.