The Knoxville High School Jazz Band finished their 2013-14 season on a high note last Saturday with an outstanding performance at Truman State’s Jazz Fest 46. The Knoxville jazz band scored the highest points for any band, earning a first place finish in class 3. The band performed Flight to Augusta by Jeff Jarvis, Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington featuring Melissa Molloy on tenor sax, and Absolutely Awesome by Lennie Niehaus. The judges complemented the band on music selection, solo performances, and overall performance quality.
Earlier in the day, these young musicians had also performed at Indian Hill’s Jazzfest, earning a third place finish. Melissa Molloy, Scott Molloy, Tyler Raymie, Koltyn Welker, and Jana DeMoss all received outstanding soloist awards at Indian Hills.
Prior to Saturday, the jazz band had participated at Central College’s Jazzmania and the state jazz competitions in Pella. Knoxville earned a 2 at state while Jazzmania was a noncompetitive clinic only event. The band is directed by newcomer Kelilah Brown. Kelilah stated that she is so proud of all the students and delighted about their successes on Saturday. She also noted that it was very nice to have concrete validation of all the hard work put in by the students. These dedicated musicians gave up extra hours of sleep and several Saturdays to be part of Knoxville’s jazz band. The jazz band auditions were held in late October with early morning practices beginning in November.
For nine senior musicians, this was their last day of competitions. Megan Molly and Brendan Finan, both trumpet players, have been in Jazz band for the last four years. Brody Dingle (trumpet), Racheal Humeston (piano), and Racheal Worthington (axillary percussion) have three years of jazz experience. Alec Geil (trombone) and Colton Welker (bass) earned their positions as juniors and were joined this year by Paige Spowart (Baritone), Amber Hughes (bari sax), and Ben Riechart (tenor sax). The seniors do have one more performance. They will play at the spring band concert on Tuesday, March 18, at the Knoxville Performing Arts Center.