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Okanagan Mission Secondary School Jazz Band rehearses for B.C. Interior Jazz Festival

Click to play video: 'Kelowna Jazz band rehearses for BC Interior Jazz Festival'
Kelowna Jazz band rehearses for BC Interior Jazz Festival
Kelowna Jazz band rehearses for BC Interior Jazz Festival – Mar 18, 2022

After two years off the stage, the Grade 12 jazz band at Okanagan Mission Secondary School is ready to take part in the B.C. Interior Jazz Festival.

“It brings together the entire jazz community; from students, to teachers to professionals, to fans of the music,” said Megan Frederick, O.K.M. Music Teacher.

“You see students performing [after] working for many months to perfect three pieces, that they perform on stage for a panel of adjudicators and then they are graded and put into categories.”

The band that makes the top category is invited to perform at Music Fest Canada this spring.

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“The idea of getting in front of the stage it’s such an important part of being a musician and that being taken away for two years, is crazy,” said Frederick.

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“It adds a lot of pressure but, I think [it’s] more excitement than anything. We’re just incredibly happy that is able to run this year.”

The students are rehearsed and ready to get back on stage.

“I’m excited to get back it’s been a while since we’ve done it,” said Gabe Wriding, Grade 12 drummer.

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The group hasn’t performed due to the pandemic, that time has only brought them closer together.

“I trust the people in this band and I’ve seen the dedication that our [have] teachers and all the students [have],” said Ava Hamilton, clarinet.
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The strength of the band is credited to their teacher, Frederick.

“Miss Frederick was the teacher for all those years and she just made the class really fun,” said Emma Strang, flute.

The opportunity to push themselves can even inspire students to become teachers and foster the next generation of jazz musicians, like Zach Griffin who is now a teacher at O.K.M. Secondary.

“I remember the excitement from my perspective back when I was a student,” said Griffin.

“It’s just really awesome to inspire the students and see the excitement on their faces.”

The not-for-profit festival runs from April 7 to April 9 and the Jazz Artists’ Showcase Concert is April 8 at 7:30 p.m. All shows are open to the public. For ticket information visit www.bcinteriorjazzfestival.com

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