Mitchell High School Jazz Bands Win Awards at Augustana University – Mitchell Republic
SIOUX FALLS — The Mitchell High School Jazz Bands continued their impressive spring run on March 1 by winning the Class AA competition at the Jazz on the Great Plains Festival, held at Augustana University in Sioux Falls.
The Jazz 1 set scored 290 points out of a possible 300, the highest score in any class in the competition. Jazz 2 came in fifth place with a score of 258, the highest total among the second groups. Ensembles from Brookings, Yankton and O’Gorman (Sioux Falls) also competed in AA.
“We have some incredibly talented young musicians,” said Mitchell High School Bands Manager Ryan Stahle. “What really sets them apart, however, is the hard work they put in to bring out their talent.”
Each group meets several times a week at 7:15 a.m. to rehearse. All members of the jazz band are also part of concert bands, and several of them also play in other school ensembles.
“They know each other so well musically because they’ve spent so much time playing together,” Stahle said. “They’re able to get a really tight sound on really difficult tracks.”
In addition to the full band award, several individual members were honored for their solo work at Augustana. Jesse Dodd (drums), Christian Kremer (saxophone), Ella Mutziger (guitar) and Zachary Van Meter (trombone) have all won awards as outstanding soloists.
Later that evening, several members of the jazz band performed with the Dakota Wesleyan University Jazz Band for the Jazz Night event, held at the Sherman Center.
The next performance of the jazz groups will take place as part of the Spring Concert, March 15 at 7 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center.
“We are extremely lucky to have such great music here in our community,” Stahle said. “Once people hear these kids playing live, they get an idea of how awesome they sound.”