Jazz Band Takes First at Conservatory Jazz Festival Competition


Katie Herring

Wauwatosa Jazz Band at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

The Wauwatosa West Jazz Band took first at the 4th annual Wisconsin Conservatory of Music Jazz Festival in downtown Milwaukee for Outstanding High School Ensemble and Outstanding Rhythm Section against 12 other schools on Friday, March 16th, 2018.

As a group, the Jazz band performed and were given feedback from professional musicians. Students also spent the day attending specialized music workshops with other students from the region.

Students in Jazz Band are taking an elective music class which requires them to meet three days a week at 7 in the morning. They must be a member of the marching band in order to join jazz. This requires commitment which pays off after taking first against 12 different schools.

¨We do gigs at bars twice a week, play for our school, travel at times, and do competition. We brought home awards for outstanding jazz and rhythm section.¨ said Senior Sam Kniffin.

Kniffin has been a percussionist for the marching band and jazz band. He has played for the Wauwatosa district since he was in 6th grade and has enjoyed playing with other students when it is out a bars, school, or anywhere they perform.

¨ I felt confident in our band along with the help we hired. The practicing and dedication each student has shown throughout these weeks have been big in what we placed in.¨ said Guy Kammerer the Tosa West Band Instructor.

The Tosa West Jazz Band does everything they can to prep their jazz band and to make sure they are confident in what they are doing.

Being apart of that experience and having passion for what you play really shows while listening to the jazz band. Not only does everyone enjoy playing but also show great dedication giving their time in their days to practice hours on end.

¨I have been playing bass guitar for three year for jazz band. Coming into this competition was scary but I was confident in what our jazz band has practiced¨ said Senior Caleb Vollmers.

The Wauwatosa West Jazz Band is becoming a big part in the schools entertainment and awards. The school band which includes members of the jazz band play for pep rallies and games, but also bring home awards and turn students into future artists.

The Jazz Band will perform at Wauwatosa West on May 2nd at 7:30 PM.