Whitworth Communications

For Immediate Release

March 4, 2002

Whitworth Jazz Ensemble Swings to Another First-Place Finish at Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

The Whitworth College Jazz Ensemble and two Whitworth student-musicians won top awards at the 35th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, held last week at the University of Idaho in Moscow. For the fourth time in six years, the Whitworth ensemble took first place in the college/university division of the competition.

The group, led by guest-conductor Terry Lack, director of bands for Mead High School in Spokane, placed ahead of 14 competing ensembles, including the University of Idaho, Washington State University, and Utah State University. Lack is directing the ensemble while its full-time director, Whitworth Professor of Music Dan Keberle, is on sabbatical this spring.

Whitworth Assistant Professor of Music Brent Edstrom, who watched the ensemble's performance at the festival, says the band played with a maturity beyond its years and was an obvious audience favorite.

"The ensemble won because they were well rehearsed, had good intonation, clean phrasing and articulation, and most importantly, the students played with conviction," Edstrom says.

Festival judges also honored Whitworth junior Justin Keller with a first-place award for outstanding college saxophone solo and sophomore Mike Frederick for outstanding college guitar solo.

The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble is one component of the jazz studies program at Whitworth College, which was featured in Jazz Times magazine as one of the top jazz education programs in the United States. The ensemble has performed on tour in Munich, Rome, Australia and Cuba, and was one of two jazz big bands selected from colleges and universities in the five Northwest states to perform at the All-Northwest Music Educators Festival.Each year, the ensemble performs at Whitworth with an acclaimed guest artist. Recent guests include Byron Stripling, Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, and Slide Hampton.

Contacts:

Brent Edstrom, assistant professor of music, Whitworth College, (509) 777-4590 or bedstrom@whitworth.edu.

Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or jriddle@whitworth.edu.

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