Jazz Season is Here
The Jazz Bands have been working hard developing skills and style this year. From learning how to write bass lines and improvise to learning how to read chord changes and transcribe, students have been deep in developing an understanding of Jazz.
February 2nd marked the official start of our Jazz season. The ensemble had a wonderful performance and won 1st place in Division 4! It was an excellent day of jazz education and planning for the future as the ensemble had the chance to tour the Missouri State campus. They saw the buildings, classrooms, and programs that the University offers.
In addition to learning about college life, the band was able to sit in on a clinic with Dr. Will Campbell who is the Director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina. Dr. Campbell lead the clinic and then played with the Missouri State University Jazz Studies Band 1. It was an excellent concert and clinic.
This week, the Jazz Ensemble began work on our piece that we commissioned our Fountain City Jazz Fest guest artist, Mr. Steve Wiest, to compose. This piece will be unveiled at its WORLD PREMIER at the Jazz Fest on March 23rd. We hope that you can come see what Mr. Wiest and the band can do.
Coming up next for the Jazz Program:
February 23rd, 2019- University of Central Missouri Jazz Festival
March 23rd, 2019- Fountain City Jazz Fest
April 26th, 2019- Spring Jazz Concert
Solo/Ensemble & Fine Arts Night
District Solo and Ensemble preparation is well under way with students working on their music before and after school. Students wishing to take a Solo or Small Ensemble should set up a time to meet with Mr. Boyer.
Students earning a 1 at District Band Solo and Ensemble will be able to play at our recital evening March 29th, 2019. This year, this evening will include all of the top Fine Arts students at De Soto with performances and displays from our DHS band, choir, drama, and art students.
Music Composition Contest
Six original student compositions were entered into the 2019 Fountain City Music Composition Contest! Students received feedback from 3 professional composers so that they can continue to improve their music writing.
This year, congratulations goes out to winner Kylie Mitchell! Kylie will work with Mr. Boyer to edit and further improve her piece for its world premiere performance at the Spring Band Concert in April!
A huge thanks goes out to our judges for the 2019 Composition Festival. This year our student composers received feedback from three professional composers from across the Midwest.
Mark J. Connor (b. 1971) is a composer, conductor, and educator whose main focus is writing for concert band, with works appearing on several state lists. His band music has enjoyed performances at several state music educator conferences, including TMEA, and his music is published by RWS Music Company, Grand Mesa Music, and Alry Publications.
Other highlights include performances of his chamber music at the Eastern Music Festival, Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall), the Taliesin Art Centre (Wales), the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama and the Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (Ireland). He has had orchestral works performed by the Jacksonville Symphony as part of their Fresh Ink program and the North State Symphony. Mark has been commissioned by, or won awards from, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Eppes String Quartet, the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet, Composers and Schools in Concert, and the Commission Project. He is also active as an arranger for a wide range of ensembles and genres including works for groups as diverse as guitar ensembles, brass quintet, saxophone trio, and jazz combos.
Mark has been an educator for over 20 years and has taught students at ages ranging from fourth grade through postgraduate. He is currently the band teacher at the Saul Mirowitz Jewish Community School. Prior to his current position, he was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Webster University and Western Carolina University, an instructor at McKendree University, and an adjunct professor at Maryville University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Florida State University, and Florida A & M University. From 1997 to 2001 Mark was the director of bands and teacher at Palma High School in Salinas, California.
Mark is the host of Everything Band, a podcast that features interviews with leaders in the concert band, wind ensemble, and marching arts
Derek Limback is currently the band director at St. James Missouri where he teaches grades 6-12 instrumental music. He holds a BS in Music Education and a Masters in Music Composition from Missouri State University. He has also studied at the University of Texas-Austin and the University of Central Missouri. Mr. Limback began his professional teaching career as the band director at Warsaw Missouri before returning to MSU for graduate studies. After beginning his teaching career at St. James he also was the Director of Jazz Studies at Missouri S&T in Rolla.
He is an active performer, clinician, and composer. His main areas of interest are instrumental composition, jazz composition and performance, and teaching music. Mr. Limback has written music for various schools and universities in Missouri and has had music performed in Arkansas, Texas, and Kansas. In his spare time he likes to golf, fly fish, hunt arrowheads, and spend time with his family.
Greg Weis is a doctoral student at the University of Northern Colorado. Greg's compositions and arrangements have been performed in concerts and Jazz festivals in numerous cities around the United States, including Denver, St. Louis, Kansas City, New Orleans, Chicago, Las Vegas, Des Moines, and New York City. His big band music is regularly performed by the DownBeat Award-winning University of Northern Colorado Jazz Lab Band I. His arrangements and compositions have also been performed by Randy Brecker, Dave Pietro, Antonio Hart, Paul McKee, Greg Gisbert, Bob Sheppard, Jim White, Clay Jenkins, Tanya Darby, Benny Golson, the Missouri State University Jazz Studies Ensemble, the Airmen of Note, the Colorado Jazz Orchestra, and numerous high school jazz bands. He has been recognized with awards and honors from the Jazz Education Network, the International Society of Jazz Arrangers and Composers, the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers, and the New York Youth Symphony. His compositions are also featured on the debut album for the All Angles Orchestra, a jazz chamber ensemble that infuses classical musicians with jazz musicians.