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Weekend Of Jazz

The North County Jazz Festival is held every year, with several area schools' jazz bands performing. Pictured is the West County High School Jazz Band performing in 2018.

North County Bands will host their 26th Annual Jazz Festival on Saturday at North County High School in Bonne Terre.

To kick off the event, the Band Boosters will host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser in the high school commons area Friday evening from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The dinner fundraiser is open for all community members and jazz enthusiasts to attend. Tickets for the dinner will be sold at the door at a cost of $5 for adults and $3 for children age 10 and under.

The Band Boosters will be serving spaghetti, salad, breadsticks, and desserts. There will also be gluten-free options. The North County Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab and Middle School Jazz Band will play during the dinner.

The Jazz Festival will take place the following day. The event starts at 9 a.m. with bands playing all day and into the evening.

Overall, 14 bands are scheduled to perform throughout the day with a 30-minute clinic space after each school performance for the guest clinicians to address the performing students. The clinicians will discuss playing, music education, the world of a professional musician and answer any questions.

The evening will wrap up with a Jazz Concert featuring the festival’s special guests, Dr. Joel Vanderheyden, Joe Pastor, and Travis Lewis.

The Mineral Area Kicks Band and the North County Jazz Ensemble will also play at the evening concert. The evening concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the North County High School Auditorium and admission fee for adults is $10 and $5 for students. Tickets will be sold at the door.

The Band Boosters will be selling Domino's Pizza throughout the afternoon, as well as, refreshments, popcorn, and candy. Proceeds from the concessions will go to help the band with the purchase of supplies, equipment, and trips.

The judges at this year's festival are  Aaron Lehde, director of Bands and District Music facilitator for the Ladue School District; David Wyss, director of Bands at Lindbergh High School; Dan Schunks, of Mineral Area College, director of the Mineral Area Kicks Band, and the Mineral Area College Community Band; and Michael Goldsmith, former director of Jazz Studies at Mineral Area College.

“The festival has been held for 26 years and grows each year. We love to see it grow every year and that wouldn’t be possible without the band parents, festival sponsors, and the community as a whole," Jeanne Spradling, North County Band Boosters president, said

Spradling said the Band Boosters would like to thank the Jazz Festival Sponsors: Marler's Music of Park Hills, Domino's Pizza of Bonne Terre and Park Hills, First State Community Bank, Boyer's Funeral Home, and Kernan's Auto Body.

The North County Band Boosters would like to thank the community for their continued support of the Jazz Festival over the last 26 years.

For more information, visit http://www.northcountybands.com/jazz-festival.html or visit the North County Band Booster’s Facebook page titled, “North County Band Boosters.”

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Bobby Radford is a reporter for the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3628, or at bradford@dailyjournalonline.com.

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