Arts and Entertainment

Get jazzed up with local school bands

Island jazz enthusiasts are coming to the South Whidbey High School Auditorium on Friday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. For the third year in a row, Whidbey Island Dixieland Jazz Society will be sponsoring this all-island concert. Participating will be jazz bands and ensembles from middle and high schools in Oak Harbor, Coupeville and South Whidbey.

Last year’s sold-out performance was also held at the South Whidbey High School Auditorium. The proceeds from this evening of music will be distributed as college scholarships for Whidbey Island high school seniors. More than $42,000 in scholarships have been awarded during the last decade.

Oak Harbor’s Gary Waltrip and Sarah Boon were among the recipients of last year’s $1,000 awards. Prior winners have included Christina Queeno in 2000, Taylor Pruss, Eric Wiley and Matt Frost in 1999, Courtney Jones in 1998, Ryan Togstad and Bonnie Hanson in 1997, Ray Shelly in 1996, Sean Owen, Christopher Buchanan and Douglas Meis in 1994, Melissa Hendricks and Christy Lynch in 1993, Adora Olson and Patrick Manuel (now the Coupeville band director) in 1992, Jason Legat, Cameron Williams and Nathan Leadbetter in 1991 and Melissa Rouw and Stephanie Meche in 1990.

Local jazz fans will be able to enjoy Brent Purvis and his South Whidbey High School Jazz Band, as well as Oak Harbor jazz bands, Coupeville Middle School’s Jazz Band and Langley Middle School’s Jazz Band.

Jim Freeman returns concerts’ emcee. This program is the only one of its kind to feature musicians from all the island’s school districts. This concert is not a competition but a celebration of talented youth and wonderful music by Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller and others.

To obtain tickets, contact any area school music teachers or call Jerry Jones at 679-2066. Tickets are $5. Videos of the show will be available from Discount Party Store for $10.

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