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Chandler Unified junior high jazz band to perform at international conference


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  • Jennifer Nusbaum/Chandler Unified School District

The Chandler Unified School District’s Willis Junior High Jazz Band, Under The Direction Of John Studzinski, Has Been Selected To Perform At The Jazz Education Network Conference In Louisville, Kentucky At The Galt House Convention Center On Thursday, January 7, 2016.

The Chandler Unified School District’s Willis Junior High Jazz Band, under the direction of John Studzinski, has been selected to perform at the Jazz Education Network conference in Louisville, Kentucky at the Galt House Convention Center on Thursday, January 7, 2016.

Founded in Chicago in 2008, JEN is the largest International Jazz Conference held annually.

Chandler Unified junior high jazz band to perform at international conference Willis-Junior-High-Jazz-Band

The Chandler Unified School District’s Willis Junior High Jazz Band, under the direction of John Studzinski, has been selected to perform at the Jazz Education Network conference in Louisville, Kentucky at the Galt House Convention Center on Thursday, January 7, 2016.

Willis Junior High’s jazz band was the only Junior High School in the world selected to perform at this event.

The Willis Band opens the conference during the first session on Thursday morning at 9:00 a.m., EST. They will feature guest artists and soloist, including Bryon Ruth, faculty associate in saxophone at Arizona State University.

This is not the first time the Willis Junior High Jazz Band has made it to an international music conference. In 2009, they were selected and performed at the Midwest Clinic: An International Band and Orchestra Conference in 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. As the only Junior High band selected for this conference, they featured Michael Kocour, associate professor and the director of Jazz Studies at Arizona State University, on piano and Dean Sorenson, Associate Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Minnesota, on trombone.

Performing at the JEN Conference in January is a tremendous honor for the Chandler Unified School District and the state of Arizona. The students are intensely focused on teamwork, musicianship, and preparation in order to assure another great performance.

If you would like to hear the band, they are performing at an open-house on the Willis Junior High campus on Thursday October 29, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. and again at 7:00 p.m. in the multipurpose building.

They will also perform their entire JEN conference set with guest artists at The Chandler Center for the Arts on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.  All performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Willis Junior High at (480) 883-5700.

In January, 2016, the 19-member 7th and 8th grade Jazz Band will load up their instruments and travel to Louisville, Kentucky for their performance. If you are interested in helping fund this performance, please contact Willis Junior High at (480) 883-5700 for further instructions.

For more information, please contact John Studzinski at Willis Junior High by (480) 883-5700 or  studzinski.john@cusd80.com.