SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase Finalists Announced
BETHLEHEM, PA—Following three preliminary rounds of competition, six area high school jazz bands have advanced to the finals of the 2016 SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase presented by King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC. The groups will perform March 20, 4 p.m., at the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café for a chance to win a masterclass session with chart-topping saxophonist and RiverJazz headliner Jessy J; the winners will also open Jessy J’s show at RiverJazz May 12. The showcase and its finals will also be featured during a one-hour TV special airing on 69-WFMZ-TV April 2, 9 p.m.
The 2016 SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase featured 16 high school bands from Pennsylvania and New Jersey performing in the preliminary rounds Feb. 14 and 21. At the end of the preliminaries, the event’s judging panel announced the six bands that will compete in the finals. They are:
Easton Area High School Jazz Band – Director Carole Lutte
Delaware Valley Regional High School Jazz Band – Director Chris Zwarych
Lehigh Valley Charter Arts High School Jazz Band – Director Mike Lorenz
North Penn High School Navy Band – Director David DiValentino
Phillipsburg High School Jazz Band – Director Kyle Fleming
Quakertown Community High School Jazz Band – Director Frank Parker
During the finals, each band will perform a 20-minute set before a live audience and the judges. The event will also include a performance by the Moravian College Jazz Faculty Band, as well as the official awards presentation for the competition’s top soloists and sections. While the judges will announce each band’s rating during the finals, both students and audience will have to tune in to the WFMZ television special to discover who the overall winner is.
“The quality of the bands competing in this competition continues to rise,” says Patrick Brogan, Senior Vice President of Programming at ArtsQuest. “With a record 16 groups involved this year, the judges’ decisions have been more difficult than ever before. Everyone is really looking forward to the finals since the talent levels and the competition between the schools has been so incredible.”
The SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase is made possible thanks to the support of King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC, in association with 69-WFMZ-TV, Greenleaf Productions and the Moravian College Music Department. Tickets for the showcase finals are $6 and on sale now at www.steelstacks.org and 610-332-3378.
Friends and family who want a wonderful keepsake or souvenir of the competition can also purchase their own copy of the WFMZ TV special for only $20; it’s available at http://store.artsquest.org/browse.cfm/hs-jazz-competition-dvd/4,55.html.
Mark Demko, ArtsQuest
gro.tseuqstranull@okmedm or 610-332-1342