February 27, 2004
Jazz Ensemble Swings to First-Place Finish
The Whitworth College Jazz Ensemble and two Whitworth student-musicians won top awards at the 37th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, held Feb. 25-28 at the University of Idaho, in Moscow. For the fifth time in eight years, the Whitworth ensemble took first place in the college/university division of the competition.
The 19-member ensemble, led by director Dan Keberle, professor of music at Whitworth, placed ahead of ensembles from schools including Washington State University, Boston College, Gonzaga University, Pacific Lutheran University, Central Washington University, and Whitman College.
"Our first-place finish is especially gratifying this year because the competition was fierce," Keberle says. "All of the bands are so strong, plus some include graduate students, who are very mature players.
"The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble's success at the festival is a testimony to the talent of Whitworth music students and to the fine teaching by the music department faculty. Each year our jazz students seem 100 percent better than the previous year; they practice and work very hard."
Festival judges also honored Whitworth senior Mike Frederick for outstanding college guitar solo and junior Chris Parkin for outstanding college alto saxophone solo.
The Whitworth Jazz Ensemble is one component of the jazz studies program at Whitworth College. The ensemble has performed on tour in Germany, Rome, Australia and Cuba, and was also selected to perform at five recent Music Educators All-State and All-Northwest conventions.
In recent years the group has performed in concert at Whitworth with guest artists including Bob Mintzer, Joe Lovano, Slide Hampton, Jimmy Heath and Nicholas Payton. In March 2004, the jazz ensemble will perform on tour in Hawaii with the Whitworth Wind Symphony. Last fall the ensemble released its fifth CD, "East of the Sun, West of the Moon."
Located in Spokane, Wash., Whitworth is a private, liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (USA). The college enrolls 2,200 students in more than 50 undergraduate and graduate programs.
Dan Keberle, director of the Whitworth Jazz Ensemble, Whitworth College, (509) 777- 4582 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Julie Riddle, public information specialist, Whitworth College, (509) 777-3729 or email@example.com.