Whitefish High musicians selected for All-State Jazz Band

Whitefish High School once again has a strong representation of musicians selected to participate in the prestigious Montana All-State Jazz Band.

Five Whitefish students recently learned that they will be attending the All-State Jazz Festival, which will be held at Hellgate High School January 13-15. The festival is run by a committee of statewide conductors in conjunction with the faculty of the University of Montana.

Selected student musicians include Niko Hunter senior on drums, Dashiell Schindler senior on trombone, Emma Trieweiler senior on vibraphone, Aidan Calaway senior on baritone saxophone and Henry Seigmund junior on tenor saxophone.

Whitefish High School group principal Matthew King said five students were the most Whitefish ever represented for the school in the All-State Jazz Band; That number, combined with the number of students who make up the All-State Band’s regular ensemble in the fall, makes seven total students who have the All-State Honor this year. King says it’s a record for WHS.

He explained that students submit a stimulating set of audition snippets in a variety of styles as well as an improv section which is then assessed by a jury for selection.

“This honor is representative of years of discipline, hard work and development,” King said. “The students spent many hours practicing and perfecting the auditions, mostly on their own, then joined me in recording and submitting them. ”

Once at the festival, students are placed in four ensembles, each with a renowned guest director to guide them through two days of rehearsals that culminate in a long concert on Saturday afternoon.

The ensembles are selected by auditions of students of all sizes of schools across the state of Montana. Columbia Falls also welcomed two students into the All-State Jazz Band, which will form the Flathead Valley contingent.

“I want to underline how proud I am of the individual excellence to which these students aspire – it is a great honor for them and for our group program,” said King. “Whitefish are musically well represented in the state of Montana.”

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Henry R. Wright