Following three preliminary rounds of competition, six area high school jazz bands have advanced to the finals of the 2014 SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase presented by King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC. The groups will perform March 16, 4 p.m., at the ArtsQuest Center’s Musikfest Café for the chance to open for Cherry Poppin’ Daddies May 22 during RiverJazz presented by Concannon Miller. The finals will also be featured on 69-WFMZ-TV during a one-hour TV special created by Greenleaf Productions that will air March 29, 8 p.m.
The SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase featured 14 high school bands from Pennsylvania and New Jersey performing in the preliminary rounds Feb. 16 and 23. At the end of Sunday’s two preliminary rounds, the event’s judging panel announced the six bands that will compete in the finals. They are:
Easton High School – Director Carole Lutte
Fleetwood High School – Director Charles Ebersole
Kutztown High School – Director Doug Matz
Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts – Director Mike Lorenz
North Penn High School – Director John Josten
Quakertown Community High School – Director Frank Parker
During the finals, each band will perform a 20-minute set before a live audience and the judges. The event will also include performances by the Moravian College Jazz Faculty Band and SteelStacks Jazz All-Star Big Band, as well as the official awards presentation for the competition’s top soloists and sections.
In addition to opening for Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, the winner of the jazz showcase will take part in an on-stage performance workshop with the band that day, while the runners-up will share the stage with Preservation Hall Jazz Band May 8 during RiverJazz.
The SteelStacks High School Jazz Band Showcase is made possible thanks in part to King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC, in association with 69-WFMZ-TV, Greenleaf Productions and the Moravian College Music Department. The showcase is also supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets for the showcase finals are $6 and on sale now at www.artsquest.org and 610-332-3378.