JHS’ Jazz Ensemble Qualifies for State Finals (w/VIDEO)

Jasper (Local Sources) – The Jasper Jazz Ensemble has qualified for the ISSMA State Jazz Finals by receiving one of the highest scores in the state this past weekend at the ISSMA Jazz Contest at Whiteland High School.

There were 7 sites around the state hosting Jazz Contests.  According to JHS Assistant Band Director Patrick Keeley, in order to qualify for the State Finals your ensemble had to have one top 8 scores in the state among all the groups competing in Group I (hardest music).  This is only the second year for a Jazz State Finals.

The ISSMA Jazz State Finals will take place Friday March 17th starting at 6pm at North Central High School.  Jasper’s performance time will not be determined until Sunday.  The other schools that qualified for the jazz state finals are – Carroll High School (Ft. Wayne), Castle , Dekalb, Goshen, Fort Wayne North Side, Lafayette Harrison, and Noblesville.

Keeley says Jasper is the smallest school in the state to make jazz band state finals, the only state finalist to not have a jazz band that meets everyday as class, and the only state finalist to only have one high school jazz band.

At the ISSMA Jazz Contest in Whiteland, Jasper had seven students receive outstanding solo awards.  Zach Jones – trumpet, Tristan June – soprano and
tenor sax, Vince Obermeyer – clarinet and tenor sax, Mandi Shields – vocalist, Tyler Richardson – trombone, Jacob Barry – drums, and Rachel
Moore – percussion.  On Saturday March  4th, the Jasper Jazz Band placed second at the Ball State Jazz Festival.  Zach Jones received a $400
scholarship for lead trumpet and Vince Obermeyer was awarded the best saxophone.  On February 24th the band was awarded a Superior rating at the
University of Louisville Jazz festival. Outstanding performer awards were given to Kyle Mehringer – trumpet, Mandi Shields – vocalist, Vince
Obermeyer – clarinet and sax, Tristan June – sax, and Zach Jones – trumpet.

The Jasper Jazz Ensemble members are: Seniors – Zach Jones, Garrett Armstrong, Kyle Mehringer, Noah Wright, Tristan June, Nellie Mowat, and
Rachel Moore. Juniors – Tyler Richardson, Courtney Obermeyer, Jacob Barry, Connor Fritch, Max Otto, Grace Harmon, and Emma Messmer. Sophmores – Mandi Shields, Colin Haggh, Cole Weyer, Zach Watson, Vince Obermeyer, and Jack Goodhue.  The band is under the direction of Patrick Keeley.

The Jasper Jazz Ensemble will perform a joint concert with the JHS Choir, Tuesday March 14th, at 6:30pm in the JHS auditorium and perform at the
Huntingburg Jazz Festival on Saturday April 22nd.

Videos of the JHS Jazz Ensemble preforming recently in Louisville, KY… (Sophomore Mandi Shields is the soloist in Video #2)

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