Bopping with the Big Band

15 Aug 2017

With Ara JazzQuest on Saturday 5 August and the Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival in Blenheim from Wednesday 9–Saturday 12 August, it has been a busy time for College’s jazz musicians. Such events showcase the work of some of the most talented high school musicians in the South Island and offer fantastic performance opportunities – in particular at Southern Jam, where the band and combos played a number of gigs, as well as taking part in the competition.

Head of Instrumental Music Nick Coxon says of the many memorable moments at Southern Jam, highlights included watching Year 12 student and singer William Pegg work the audience, and having Year 12 student and keyboard player George Murray and Year 13 student and trombonist Hugh Marshall selected for the All Stars Band. “The All Stars are the top 20 players shoulder tapped from all competing bands, who come together to play at the gala concert on the Saturday evening. It’s a huge honour to be chosen ... Hugh was also asked to perform a trombone solo for the All Stars; a task he carried off with aplomb.”

The whole school enjoyed the Big Band sound with a special performance of “Fat and Sassy” by Paul Baker at assembly on Tuesday 14 August, when Executive Principal Garth Wynne presented four members of the band – Year 13 students Jamie Hutton, Matt Edmundson, Josh Meads and Hugh Marshall – with Instrumental Music Honours Ties.


Ara JazzQuest
Big Band – Gold

Southern Jam Youth Jazz Festival

Big Band – Silver
Jazz ensemble – Silver
Jazz trio – Bronze
George Murray – the Gibson Crosse Award for the Most Outstanding Keyboard Player