BROOKINGS – The Brookings High School music department is preparing for the ninth annual A Flood of Jazz, featuring music from the great jazz rock bands of the ’70s.
The evening’s theme is “Saturday in the Park” and will feature high school jazz band, vocal jazz and jazz strings players. The must-hear musical experience will be at 7 p.m. Friday, April 26, in a brand new venue – the Wilbert Square Event Center at 929 25th Ave.
A Flood of Jazz is a fundraiser that benefits the entire BHS music department. Tickets are $12, $15 or $18 and are currently on sale at https://foj2019.ludus.com/.
The ensembles include bands Jazz Ensemble One and Jazz Ensemble Two, orchestra group Strings Attached, and vocal jazz groups Smooth Spectrum, Swing Republic and Nothin’ But Treble.
“It’s important for the students to have the opportunity to perform ‘off-campus’ each year,” BHS Band Director Ron Stary said. “The entire music department collaborates for this event, and we count on so many people to make it happen, from parent volunteers to some amazing sponsors that donate to our event each year.”
BHS choir director Denise Perry said A Flood of Jazz takes a lot of extra work and rehearsal time for the students, but they look forward to it every year.
“This is a pretty unique event,” she said. “There’s such an energy about it. The students work with professional clinicians during the day and then perform with them that evening. It’s a real privilege for them.”
There are three guest artists this year. Adam Meckler is an award-winning trumpet player, composer and educator from Minneapolis. Ioana Galu is a professional violinist, renowned throughout the United States and Europe. Sonja Kraus is an internationally acclaimed cellist, teacher and music scholar. Both Galu and Kraus are assistant professors at the University of South Dakota.
Orchestra director Kathy Winghart said it’s a real treat to have two strings artists join A Flood of Jazz. “We have never had strings clinicians before, so this is very special. It will be very interesting to see how the various instrumentalists will work with our young musicians, and their performances will be amazing.”
Stary said they chose the theme Saturday in the Park because during the ’70s, the fusion of rock and jazz was a unique sound in American music.
“The music will spotlight three groups – Chicago Transit Authority, Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Steely Dan – who were arguably the three greatest jazz-rock groups of the era,” Stary said. “The spirit of jazz and rock fusion embodies the great American story.”
As always, the evening will also feature a delicious fusion of flavor, with a wide selection of desserts to choose from during intermission, served by music students who perform in the school’s other ensembles.