Jazz concludes successful season

By Maddie Conway
Executive News Editor
According to Fine & Performing Arts Coordinator Patrick O’Connor, this year was an especially successful one for Prospect Jazz — one of the best.
Of the different jazz bands at Prospect — Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Ensemble II and Combo, each of which include between 20 and 22 musicians — all had strong festival seasons, he said, culminating with Jazz Ensemble I — the top band — and Combo receiving straight superiors from all judges at the 2011 Jazz in the Meadows Festival at Rolling Meadows High School on Saturday, Feb. 26.

In addition to the two groups receiving the superior ratings, which placed Jazz Ensemble I third in Class 3A, two students also received individual recognition. Seniors Robby Mack and Tom Kelly received “Outstanding Musician” awards at the festival.
But the festival at Rolling Meadows was not the only success of Prospect Jazz this season. In addition to receiving recognition at several festivals throughout the year, including performing at the Lincoln-Way Jazz Festival and the North Shore Jazz Festival — at which both bands received superior ratings and Jazz Ensemble I took second place, Jazz Ensemble II took first and Combo also took first — earlier in the season.
Jazz Ensemble I was also selected to play at the Illinois Music Educator’s Association (IMEA) All-State conference this year, O’Connor said.
Now, however, the jazz bands are moving into their concert season to prepare for the spring concert at the end of the school year.
“It’s, I think, one of the best two bands Prospect has had in a very long time,” O’Connor said of the year for Prospect Jazz thus far. “The kids do a really great job and they’re really dedicated, so it’s been a very successful year.”