UT to host Jazz Festival for middle, high school students

This Saturday, Feb. 22, middle and high school students will walk the halls of the University of Tennessee when it hosts its first annual Jazz Festival.

This is an opportunity for students to sharpen their skills and perform in front of members of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and receive critique on tone quality, intonation, musical style, improvisation and more. There will also be workshops and clinics held throughout the day where members of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra will help the students read  music and play jazz selections.

“The UT Jazz Festival provides high school and middle school students with an opportunity to visit the campus, tour the new music building, meet and interact with the faculty, and learn more about performing jazz, in a workshop format,” Mark Boling, Jazz Area Coordinator said.

This is not a competitive event, but it is an opportunity for young musicians to receive information and coaching from those who have been performing Jazz music for many years.

“Since we moved in to the new Natalie L. Haslam Music Center last fall, this seemed like the time to get it started,” Boling said. “The UT School of Music has a goal of recruiting the most talented jazz students in the state into the Studio Music and Jazz degree program.”

Each band will be given a 30 minute performance time followed by a 30 minute clinic with one of the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra members. Currently four bands have signed up for the Jazz festival. Registration ended February 14.

“With the UT Jazz Festival, we are seeking to serve a need in our region,” Boling said. “Many area high school and middle school band directors have told us that they would be excited about bringing their jazz bands to a festival at the University.”

The day will conclude with an evening concert featuring the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra and UT Jazz Faculty at 7:15 p.m. in the Cox Auditorium in the Alumni Memorial Building. Admission is free for the public.

For more information, visit  http://www.music.utk.edu/jazzfest/index.html.

Edited by Maggie Jones

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