November 29th saw the RVHS auditorium filled with band students from Awest and RV, as well as local middle and elementary schools for the All Area Jazz Festival. This exciting event allows all the schools in the area a chance to show what they’ve learned.
The festival lasted close to eight hours (three to eleven pm) in order to see that all schools present had the opportunity to perform. Kelly Watts, who teaches Concert Band, Jazz Band and Orchestra at RV said that overall, the entire show was really well done.
“It’s really nice to see the progression from the middle schools to the high schools, really great to see that we have full jazz and all the areas, both high schools have tow jazz twos that meet all year long. We have our jazz ones that meet all year long and both middle schools have after school programs so it’s a fun night to really see everyone come together,” says Watts.
The All Area Jazz Festival has a lot of time and effort put into it, organizing the time and place, scheduling, and preparing the bands.
“So about half a semester. You kinda have all the music and then around November you narrow it down to what are going to be your songs for that concert and then you add all the rest of the songs back in,” Watts says. “So half a semester, maybe, to get together for those things.”
During the festival, both high schools were set to play America the Beautiful together. “The only time we practiced it with both schools was that night for about, you know, half an hour or so.” Luckily, that half hour was all the students needed to rehearse the piece, and when it came time to perform in front of an audience the show went on without a hitch.