The Hoover High School First Edition jazz band was recently one of five high school jazz bands to perform at Chicago’s prestigious Midwest Clinic.
With more than 18,000 attendees from all 50 states and more than 30 countries, the clinic is billed as the largest instrumental music education conference in the world, and bands must audition in order to perform there.
On December 19, Hoover’s 26-member Jazz Band First Edition performed an hour-long concert that included performances with famed trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and Todd Stoll, a trumpet player who is the vice president of the education at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
The jazz band played 10 selections in front of a crowd of about 800 to 1,000 people, mostly music teachers, said Hoover High band manager Ryan Fitchpatrick, who fronted the band with jazz band manager Sallie Vines White.
Hoover students were able to learn from Gordon and Stoll at a Dec. 18 rehearsal and perform with them the next day, Fitchpatrick said. They also had the chance to hear the US Air Force Band and tour the exhibit which showcased a multitude of instrument makers and every type of product imaginable associated with instrumental music and music education, a- he declared.
To the average person, that might not mean much, but to them, “it’s kind of like being a kid in a candy store or a Disney World-type experience,” Fitchpatrick said. “They had fun.”
On the way home, the students talked about how amazing the experience was for them, he said.
During their three-day stay in Chicago, the students also got to see many sights, including the Magnificent Mile Mall, Navy Pier, and the 110-story Willis Tower (formerly known as Sears Tower) .