On Friday, February 14 the Carroll Jazz Band will perform at the Texas Music Educators Association annual conference in San Antonio. Invitation to play at the conference goes to only one group a year.The band is chosen by a blind audition process by a panel of judges who are college educators from around the state.
Carroll Jazz will take the stage with guest artist Stockton Helbing. Helbing is formerly the drummer and musical director for the Maynard Ferguson Big Band and is now the drummer for trumpeter Doc Severinsen.
“I’m greatly looking forward to my performance as guest artist with Carroll High School’s top jazz band at TMEA this February, Helbing said. “Carroll’s top jazz group is always one of the most talented high school groups that I get to work with each year thanks to the hard work of the students and the world class jazz education provided by my good friend David Lown, who is also a top not jazz saxophonist in his own right.”
“This is our highest-profile event this spring,” said David Lown, Director of Jazz Bands for Carroll ISD. “The TMEA Invited High School Jazz Ensemble is our top group; it’s similar to the Honor Band system for concert bands in Texas.” A publicity video for the TMEA performance is featured below.
In addition to the TMEA Conference performance, Carroll Jazz will also be playing the Jazz Education Network Annual Conference in Dallas on Friday, Jan. 10. More performances will follow later in the spring including the UTA, TCU and UT Jazz Festitvals, as well as the Allen Jazz Festival, Southlake Jazz Festival, Art in the Square and the Carroll Jazz Spring Concert.
Home of one of the most active jazz bands in the state, Carroll ISD is known for its accomplishments in both the athletic and academic arenas. Earlier this week, the Carroll Jazz Orchestra was named the 2014 Texas Invited High School Jazz Ensemble and will perform at the 2014 Texas Music Educators Association Convention. As only one band is chosen from the entire state, this is the highest honor that can be given to a jazz band.
Coming in February, the Carroll Jazz Orchestra will appear before approximately 25,000 music educators along with other Texas All-State band and vocal groups. This convention offers clinics and seminars for educators in Texas, but one of the biggest treats will be hearing the Dragon Jazz Ensemble.
“This is a tremendous honor and I know that the kids are all extremely excited to get to perform at TMEA,” Carroll jazz bands director David Lown said. In addition to performing in front of a huge audience of Texas educators, they will also get to observe the Texas All-State Jazz Ensemble and other notable groups, so this really is a great educational opportunity for them. Many outstanding groups submitted auditions for this, so it was quite a pleasant surprise to learn that we had gotten the nod this year. Our students have been seeing their hard work pay off all year long, and to receive such a unique accolade after school is out is very, very special.”
The Carroll Jazz Bands are special indeed. Last fall, Carroll students earned 16 of the 40 spots in the All-Region Jazz Bands that are chosen from 13 schools. In March, the third Jazz Band won 1st place in the 5A-2nd Jazz Band category at the UTA Jazz Festival. The top group, the Jazz Orchestra, won 1st place in the 5A-1st Jazz Band categories at both the UTA Jazz Festival and TCU Jazz Festival.