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The award winning Clark College Orchestra will present its Fall concert as part of the 2019-20 season celebrating the 30th anniversary of Music Director/Conductor Donald Appert on Wednesday, December 4 at Skyview High School in Vancouver, WA. 

This all-orchestral extravaganza will include La Valse by Maurice Ravel, Nuages and Fêtes from Claude Debussy’s Nocturnes and Josef Suk’s Symphony No. 1 in E minor. The performance is at 7:30 pm and admission is free and open to the public. Donations to the Orchestra General Fund will be accepted at the door.

For complete information about all the Clark College Music Department concerts including the orchestra, concert band, jazz ensemble, and choirs, please see http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/music/music-concerts.

Donald Appert has appeared as a guest conductor in Japan, Australia, Central America, and throughout Europe.  In Italy La’ovadese wrote, “…the performance of the ‘Serenade in C Major’ of Tchaikovsky, under the exceptional direction of Appert, was in such a style that it brought out the elegance and grace of the melodic lines with Mozartian inspiration.  …The L’Orchestra Sinfonica Città di Grosseto… performed the Barber ‘Adagio’ with rare effectiveness, emphasizing its intrinsically rich melody.”  Giornale di Sicilla praised his interpretation of Nielsen’s First Symphony as “lyrical with an airy freshness,” and his conducting as “precise, painstakingly accurate, and diligent.”  In the United States, he has appeared as a guest conductor of the Vancouver (Washington) Symphony, the University of Texas – Arlington Symphony Orchestra, the Eastern Washington University Symphony Orchestra, and the University of Central Arkansas Symphony.

As one of only five musicians chosen, Dr. Appert received the 2015 Honored Artists of The American Prize, the Honored Artists being “…individuals who have proven themselves to be musicians of “sustained excellence” over a number of seasons as contestants in the competitions.”  Adding to this distinctive honor is his 2011 The American Prize in Orchestral Programming – Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award for his work with the Oregon Sinfonietta.  

Orchestra
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Dr. Appert was awarded the 2015 ASCAPLUS Award in recognition of his performances in Italy and the United States.  His awards in previous years were for performances in Romania, Qatar, Europe, Central America, Japan, and the United States.  Dr. Appert is the recipient of the 2014 Clark County Arts Commission Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, and in 2009, he received the Washington Community College Humanities Association Exemplary Status Award in recognition of his outstanding contributions to the Humanities. 

As a member of ASCAP, most of Dr. Appert’s compositions have been published and his works have been performed throughout the world.  A recent work, Concerto for Cello and Orchestra, commissioned by, and for, Jeffrey Butler of the Houston Symphony, had its world première to great applause on June 17, 2018, with Mr. Butler as soloist and the Clark College Orchestra accompanying him.       

Generation Headstrong. They’re new. They’re young. And, they’re bold.

The rock and blues band (that plays a little metal, too) formed just months ago, but the four boys – Jameson Reese Fyfe, 9; Aiden Baird, 14; Grayson Much, 14; and Bennett Fyfe, 11 — are moving pretty fast in the music world with regular performances in the region, and their eyes on an international competition.

The SW Washington band members knew other over the last three years, thanks to the Hammersmith Rock Institute in Vancouver, where they learn about music and practice. Eventually, the the stars aligned, and in February 2019 Generation Headstrong was born.

Not long after, the band heard about the International Blues Competition, and were approached by the Cascade Blues Association to represent the Pacific Northwest at the annual event in Memphis, Tennessee next January.

And in this short amount of time, they’ve quickly learned to connect and combine their talents to create their own style.

Aiden, a Camas resident, plays guitar and does backup vocals. Grayson, of Vancouver, is lead guitar player with vocals and background vocals. Bennett, the band’s deep thinker and organizer, plays bass and is the lead vocalist, and his little brother Jameson does drums and backup vocals.

“I have to do drums,” said Jameson. “It gets the hyper out of me!”

His older brother, Bennett, just shakes his head.

“We’ve connected to the point where our playing is meaningful as we connect onstage and offstage,” said Aiden. “We know what to do to make our playing a little bit better each time. We’re playing at levels some adults don’t play yet. It’s some complex stuff. One of the songs is ‘A Cult of Personality’. We’re starting off as a cover band. It was a hard song to learn. It’s faced-paced. It came along and it’s a really, really good song. We rehearse it a lot.”

Generation Headstrong
From left: Grayson Much, Aiden Baird, Jameson Fyfe, and Bennett Fyfe.

Rehearsals happen twice weekly at Bennett and Jameson’s house, and sessions typically last three hours. They’re also beginning to write their own music.

They continue to perform all over the area, including at A Beer At A Time in Downtown Camas. So, what can audiences expect when they perform?

“Usually we have two sets: one is a set of songs, then we do a second set,” said Aiden. “The first set is a little bit more low key. Sets are 45-50 minutes with 10-15 songs per set. We’re playing 2-3 hour shows right now.”

Leon Fyfe, who has his own history in music, manages the band, which has played at a lot of local youth jams.

They get paid for the gigs and each boy is a paid a little money, and the rest is being used to cover the Memphis trip.

“We have to cover all the costs to get there,” said Grayson. “It’s the last week of January. All of this brings us together and makes us feel comfortable. We want to be bigger. We play at the zoo, A Beer At A Time, Billy Blues, and we did a road trip to Enterprise, OR. We played two shows there. One place called Terminal Gravity and then the other was at Embers.”

A Rich History in Music

Grayson’s roots started with the piano, and 2.5 years ago he picked up the guitar.

“Mom found a place called Hammersmith Rock Institute at 1st and 172nd in Vancouver,” said Grayson. “Then mom asked me if I wanted to play guitar. I really liked it and learned from John Guffey. Shout out to him! He taught me for two years, I started at 11. In 2017, I met Aiden, and we started getting close.”

Aiden started out liking music because his family had a musical background.

Generation Headstrong
www.ClarkCountyRelocations.com

“Mom likes singing,” said Aiden. “I would play air guitar to songs on the radio. Grandpa and mom bought me a guitar when I was 5, and I took lessons for two years, then moved onto drums for a while then I was introduced to Hammersmith. We walked in and talked to the people there and I was enrolled in drum lessons. We’d play shows with Grayson and Bennett. We did rehearsals and shows together.”

The Fyfe boys also have a rich music heritage. Their mom, Trisha Fyfe, grew up with music and played piano while her father and grandfather were both in bands.

Jameson was the last to join the budding band, and he’s glad he did.

“It’s just so much fun,” he said.

So, where did the name ‘Generation Headstrong’ come from?

“The whole band and parents discussed it,” said Aiden. “We had multiple ideas and it stuck. Generation was something we all picked out. Headstrong means we’re smart. It means we’re determined.”

Their next performance is Friday, August 2 at 6 pm at A Beer At A Time.

VANCOUVER, WA —   The Clark College Music Department is hosting the 5th Annual Fall Choral Festival on Friday, November 9, 2018 in Gaiser Student Center on the campus of Clark College.  Over 15 area middle and high school chamber and concert choirs will sing in this non-competitive festival which runs from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Tickets are $5/person for the day.

“We’re very happy the festival is returning this year,” says Festival Director Dr. Jacob Funk, who is also is the Director of Choirs at Clark College. “Participating choirs get the chance to work with some highly skilled clinicians and receive written feedback on their performance. Each choir will also get to have a mini-clinic onstage, allowing for the other schools to see how a different choir learns new ways to succeed. Two of the Clark College Choirs will perform for all the participating choirs in the middle of the festival. It will be a wonderful time of music making, learning, and supporting each other in song.”

Laser

For complete information about all the Clark College Music Department concerts including the orchestra, concert band, jazz ensemble, and choirs, please see http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/music/

Meet Joshua W. Turner. Singer. Songwriter. Musician. Producer. Entrepreneur.

The Tacoma, WA artist is a busy man who’s actively promoting his new debut EP album, “BE OK,” which has catchy hooks, heartfelt lyrics, and colorful, diverse songwriting imagery.

“It’s an enticing story of love, hope, and the longing desire to get up and change,” says Turner. “It was written, recorded and produced by myself over a year span and features guest vocals from both my sister-in-law, Savannah Turner, and my beautiful wife, Erin Turner.”

This specific album is a collection of songs Turner wrote more than a decade ago, and a few written within the last year.

“It’s a compilation of doing music for 13 years, and picking songs that represent me as a solo artist,” said Turner. “This is my first solo album I’ve put out.”

Call 360.696.9877

A fiercely independent man, Turner has chosen Bandcamp.com to his release “Be OK” because it gives him more autonomy.

“Bandcamp is a platform to release an album on your own terms, you can determine pricing and do it more your way,” Turner said. “It’s not as popular but it’s a good starting point to have an album presented in its entirety.”

“Be OK” can be streamed and/or downloaded through this link:
http://joshuawturner.bandcamp.com/album/be-ok

Getting the word out to Music Supervisors is key as he’s chosen the sync licensing route to generate income. It’s not easy, but it works for Turner, and other artists like him. Sync licensing enlists Music Supervisors to set moods for various media productions, and it requires extensive research to know how to do it right.

Turner said his genre is singer-songwriter, which has the feel of one man with a guitar speaking his heart. The music really sets a tone, a mood.

“It has country aspects woven into it, and part of it is my style, and part of it is to make the songs more diverse for sync licensing opportunities,” he said. “I put all my history into one album. “This was a test for me because I needed to figure out how to produce music. The album was released August 30, and it’s gotten some interest. It’s been sent to music supervisors and it’s gaining traction.”

Background

“I got started in my bedroom,” he said. “I grew up on Whidbey Island and I just decided I wanted to sing, and was taught I could develop my voice and going to voice lessons. So, for two years I learned on my own, and then went to Berkeley College of Music in Boston, and I got in and I just started learning how to sing, and while I was there, I was awarded the Berkeley Achievement Scholarship.”

“Then, after Berkeley I went to Musicians Institute in Hollywood to study guitar. I was doing rock music then, and I was in the genre of Smashing Pumpkins meets Gun’s and Roses. I caught up with people who were developing a rock band. We went to red carpets featuring Richie Sambora.”

As time passed, Turner became disheartened and walked away from Los Angeles — and walked away from music. In time, he met his wife and got a normal preschool job teaching music.

“Then I started realizing I wanted to keep making music,” Turner said. “What I had to do was take on the responsibility of being the sole provider, which led me back to music. I opened a music coaching school, where I train singers to be confident about themselves. Confidence issues hold people back in music. I recognize that I have to do several streams of income to support my family. You have to be creative.”

Camas, WA — The Grammy-nominated band, Smalltown Poets, is back and better than ever with today’s release of their eighth album, “Say Hello.”

Their style of music is comparable to Counting Crows.  It’s a jangly, guitar driven rock, with very catchy melodies — and a lot of time was spent crafting the sound of this record. They’ve had several top 10 hits in the Gospel genre.

One of the signature songs from the album, “Middle of our First Love,” has gotten significant radio time these past few weeks. And, it’s one of Kevin Breuner’s favorites. Breuner is one of the band’s guitarists — and he’s also a Camas resident.

“The story behind this is we had ten songs we recorded and arranged them in priority in what we worked on first, and this was number 10,” said Breuner. “Then it went through this dramatic re-write. It started out as slow jazzy song. There was a lot of honesty with each other, so we knew we had to fix it, and the results exceeded all expectations. That’s one of the storylines with this record. Since we have a few years under our belt there was an open, honest collaboration and it pulled out the best out of all of us.”

The new album is available at all the various music service worldwide including, iTunes, Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora and more. This website is a portal to all the places the music is available: https://smalltown-poets.lnk.to/6KpRmWE

“Say Hello” was produced by the band with Matt Goldman, who’s worked on big projects from Third Day, Under Oath, and Copeland.

“He’s well known in Atlanta, and just really brings a new level of creativity to any project he’s working on,” said Breuner. “The five of us have day jobs across the country, and it took us two years of collaboration to put it all together. We’d each write something, share files over the Internet, and hammered out ideas, which led to recording sessions. Our last album was a Christmas album, which is a whole different animal all together. It’s about timing. We took more time as we did this independently. This gave us freedom to keep doing until it’s right.”

Smalltown Poets used to be assigned to a major label out of Nashville, and sold albums in mid to late 90s, then the band went their separate ways.

Poets

Kevin Bruener on stage with Smalltown Poets.

“We’ve been collaborating across the Internet, releasing records, and pursuing regular careers and getting out on the road when we can. I’ve lived in downtown Camas for past three years, so much of this record was recorded at my house in Camas. We also recorded in Memphis, and Atlanta.”

The band is technically based out of Atlanta, where two of its five members reside, and where a lot of the album’s recording occurred.

One member lives in Charlotte, one in Tampa, and Breuner lives right here in Camas. In their early days, the band lived in Nashville. Smalltown Poets debuted in 1997.

Presently, the band is working on tour dates, with conceptual plans to do a West coast run in the fall, starting in Seattle.  Right now, the main first step is getting the music out there. They average 20-30 shows a year.

Bikes

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Independence

Breuner is VP of Marketing at CD Baby in Portland.

“CD Baby is a beacon in the independent music industry,” said Breuner. “I left the whole major label thing because we were always the last people to get paid. We sold 200,000 copies of our first album, and we were still scraping by. I thought there’s got to be a better way to get the music out to our fans. If I could sell directly to our fans we could sell less music and make more money.”

“I’m doing exactly what I’m passionate about. So I’ve been working at CD Baby for over 12 years. We educate artists on how to move their careers forward. The fact that I’m still an active artist and out there in the trenches, along with working in the business, I can see what artists need to do to promote their music. We support 650,000 artists. We help so many with a path to success. There’s a lot of learning. It’s been fun to see what artists are doing.”

What drives him?

“I try to give up music, and then I get pulled back,” he said. “I want to make music. Releasing music is something I enjoy. Something inside me that wants to keep creating. Music is a release that’s though to explain. It allows me to express myself. I’m not a lead singer, I’m not someone who gets on stage to sing. I love to write and record with the guitar. It helps me express what I’m feeling. I feel like when I listen back to the tracks, it’s easy to go through the emotions and capture what I’m feeling. It helps me to leave my own finger print.”

His family moved the milltown because his parents moved to the Camas-Washougal area, and they started doing Camas Days, and all the local activities.

”When we outgrew our starter home, we had two daughters, and knew the kind of house we wanted,” he said. “We checked out a house that was exactly what we were looking for. We love the neighborhood. We know most of our neighbors and we do neighborhood BBQs and do a lot of things in downtown Camas. We go to all the Camas football games.”

VANCOUVER, WA — The Clark College Concert Choir and Concert Band will perform the “Mystic Journeys” concert on Saturday, March 17 at 7:30 pm in the O’Connell Sports Center on the Clark College Campus. The concert is free to the public.

Clark College’s Concert Choir is prepared to take the audience on a Mystic Journey, from Williametta Spencer’s “At The Round Earth’s Imagined Corners” to the lush harmonies of Eric Whitacre’s “Lux Aurumque.” Two works by Eric William Barnum are featured, as is the setting of the ancient text “O Magnum Mysterium” by Thomas Luis de Victoria. All of the works evoke reflection, beauty, and the wonder of the inexplicable; either through the poetry or the harmonies used to express them.

The Clark College Concert Band’s mystical meanderings will contemplate our celestial existence with Maslanka’s Mother Earth, then travel to England where we will examine the ancient ruins of Stonehenge with the performance Dancing at Stonehenge by Anthony Suter. We will then investigate the great mystery of O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen and finish with music from an alternate universe with the music from Lord of the Rings.

For complete information about all the Clark College Music Department concerts including the orchestra, concert band, jazz ensemble, and choirs, please see http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/music/music-concerts.

 

Clark

Director of Choirs Jacob Funk conducts the Clark College Concert Choir.

About the Clark College Music Department
The college offers an Associate in Music DTA/MRP degree with courses in music theory/ear training, instrumental and vocal performance training, and ensemble experience. Classes are designed to prepare the music major for advanced studies at a four-year institution while providing the non-major with the skills and background to fully enjoy music as a cultural pursuit. Ensembles on campus include three choral groups, orchestra, concert band, and jazz ensemble. Three tenured and several adjunct faculty, provide professional instruction to the 500+ students that pass through Beacock Music Hall each year.

Vancouver, WA — The Clark College Women’s Choral Ensemble and the Clark College Chorale perform their Winter Concert “Coming Home” on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at 7:30 pm in Gaiser Student Center on the Clark College Campus. Admission is free.

“The Women’s Choral Ensemble is going on tour to Canada in April, so this really is a pre-tour concert for them,” says Director of Choirs Dr. Jacob Funk. “It’s nice to know we get to sing this repertoire here first, at Home, before we take in on the road.”

The Women’s Choral Ensemble repertoire is varied and features works from the 16th century to contemporary pieces. Many of the selections are upbeat, including to works by Rollo Dilworth: his adaptation of “I Sing Because I’m Happy” and his “Travelin’ Train.” Other highlights include the powerful “Spirit of Life” by Christopher Aspaas and the engaging message of “It Takes a Village” by Northwest composer Joan Szymko.

The Clark College Chorale’s repertoire is focused on traveling home. Titles include “The Road Home,” “The Road Not Taken,” “I’ll Be On My Way,” and “Break of Day.” Audiences will enjoy hearing the works of Randall Thompson, Shawn Kirchner, Rollo Dilworth, Bob Chilcott, and Stephen Paulus. Three of the selections feature soloists from the choir. Please come out and support these two great choirs!

For complete information about all the Clark College Music Department concerts including the orchestra, concert band, jazz ensemble, and choirs, please see: www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/music/music-concerts

About the Clark College Music Department
Clark College offers an Associate in Music DTA/MRP degree with courses in music theory/ear training, instrumental and vocal performance training, and ensemble experience. Classes are designed to prepare the music major for advanced studies at a four-year institution while providing the non-major with the skills and background to fully enjoy music as a cultural pursuit. Ensembles on campus include three choral groups, orchestra, concert band, and jazz ensemble. Three tenured and several adjunct faculty, provide professional instruction to the 500+ students that pass through Beacock Music Hall each year.

VANCOUVER, WA — After three full days of outstanding big band jazz, the outstanding musician awards and the evening finals results for the 56th Annual Clark College Jazz Festival have been announced. For 2018, the Dale Beacock Memorial Sweepstakes trophy was awarded to Mead High School Jazz Band I, Spokane, WA.

Thursday, January 25, 2018 Middle School Silver division jazz ensemble finals results:

  • 1st place – Jane Addams Middle School, Seattle, WA
  • 2nd place – Beaumont Middle School, Portland, OR
  • 3rd place – Chief Umtuch Middle School Advanced, Battle Ground, WA
  • Blue Division Judge’s Award – Chief Umtuch Middle School Advanced, Battle Ground, WA

Outstanding Middle School Jazz Musician certificates were presented to:

  • Parker Bruning – Hockinson Middle School, Hockinson, WA
  • Adam Haunreiter – Hockinson Middle School, Hockinson, WA
  • Connor Cuff – Liberty Middle School, Camas, WA
  • Deitrich Vu – Liberty Middle School, Camas, WA
  • Tai Beaulieu – Liberty Middle School, Camas, WA
  • Mireia Pujol – Liberty Middle School, Camas, WA
  • Mason Calaway – Wahluke Middle School, Mattawa, WA
  • Isaac Moroshan – Laurin Middle School, Vancouver, WA
  • Justus Jones – Carmichael Middle School, Richland, WA
  • Shelby McCombs – Pleasant Valley Middle School, Vancouver, WA
  • Dominic Mendoza – Chief Umtuch Middle School, Battle Ground, WA
  • Reagan Speakman – Skyridge Middle School, Camas, WA
  • Grady McHenry – Tukes Valley Middle School, Battle Ground, WA
  • Chris Moore – Beaumont Middle School, Portland, OR
  • Nate Moore – Beaumont Middle School, Portland, OR
  • Parker Casazza – Jane Addams Middle School, Seattle, WA
  • Lacy George – Jane Addams Middle School, Seattle, WA

Friday, January 26, 2018 A and AA division high school jazz ensemble finals results:

A Division:

  • 1st place – Northwinds High School, Port Angeles, WA
  • 2nd place – Petersburg High School, Petersburg, AK
  • 3rd place – Woodland High School, Woodland, WA

Outstanding high school musician awards for the A Division were presented to:

  • Jesse Weaver – Douglas High School, Winston, OR
  • Noah Pratton – Mcloughlin High School, Milton Freewater, OR
  • Ciaran Healey – University Prep, Seattle, WA
  • Ursula Sargent – University Prep, Seattle, WA
  • Adam Kennedy – Northwinds High School, Port Angeles, WA
  • Tristan Lowman – Northwinds High School, Port Angeles, WA
  • Isaac Hall – Woodland School District, Woodland, WA

AA Division:

  • 1st place – Hockinson High School, Hockinson, WA
  • 2nd place – Mead High School, Spokane, WA
  • 3rd place – Mt. Spokane High School, Spokane, WA

Outstanding high school musician awards for the AA Division were presented to:

  • Kara Stella – RA Long High School, Longview, WA
  • Saunder Borst – Mt. Spokane High School, Spokane, WA
  • Elaine Scott – Mead High School, Spokane, WA
  • Meggie Rodewald – Mead High School, Spokane, WA
  • Kaylin Woods – Mead High School, Spokane, WA
  • Grant Hobbs – Columbia River High School, Columbia River, WA
  • Cade Lilley – Fife High School, Tacoma, WA
  • Kaelyn White – Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, WA
  • Emily Johnson – Washougal High School, Washougal, WA
  • Jack Broer – Hockinson High School, Hockinson, WA
  • Riley Lyons – Hockinson High School, Hockinson, WA
  • Erik Hawkins – Hockinson High School, Hockinson, WA
  • Zeke Dodson – Hockinson High School, Hockinson, WA

Saturday, January 27, 2018 AAA and AAAA division high school jazz ensemble finals results:

AAA Division:

  • 1st place – Mead High School Jazz I, Spokane, WA
  • 2nd place – Prairie High School, Brush Prairie, WA
  • 3rd place – Mt. Spokane High School Jazz I, Spokane, WA

Outstanding high school musician awards for the AAA Division were presented to:

  • Ashton Hemming – Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, WA
  • Dominic Mendoza – Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, WA
  • Jacob Khawaja – Lakeridge High School, Lake Oswego, OR
  • Penelope Tharp – Lakeridge High School, Lake Oswego, OR
  • Isaac Ford – Kelso High School, Kelso, WA
  • Tony Brence – Prairie High School, Brush Prairie, WA
  • Ericka Mecham – Prairie High School, Brush Prairie, WA
  • Josh DeQuiroz – Mountain View High School, Vancouver, WA
  • Ricky Gagliardi – Mead High School, Spokane, WA
  • Connor Brennan – Mt. Spokane High School, Spokane, WA
  • Chris Ramirez – VSAA Focus, Vancouver, WA

AAAA Division:

  • 1st place – Bothell High School Jazz I, Bothell, WA
  • 2nd place –Battle Ground High School Advanced, Battle Ground, WA
  • 3rd place – Lake Stevens High School, Lake Stevens, WA

Outstanding high school musician awards for the AAAA Division were presented to:

  • Justin Foley – Heritage High School, Vancouver, WA
  • Amy Boedigheimer – Heritage High School, Vancouver, WA
  • Mairead Rising – Glacier Peak High School, Snohomish, WA
  • Galin Hebert – Glacier Peak High School, Snohomish, WA
  • Hannah Whitlow – West Salem High School, Salem, OR
  • Cameron Roche – West Salem High School, Salem, OR
  • Anthony Bolden – West Salem High School, Salem, OR
  • Mario Esquivel – Chiawana High School, Pasco, WA
  • Benito Ramirez – Chiawana High School, Pasco, WA
  • Gabe Aldape – Lake Stevens High School, Lake Stevens, WA
  • Manuel Aldape – Lake Stevens High School, Lake Stevens, WA
  • Chase Williams – Union High School, Camas, WA
  • Sean Grimm – Union High School, Camas, WA
  • Gary Hobbs – Union High School, Camas, WA
  • Gabe Bradley – Mountain View High School, Vancouver, WA
  • Nick McClatchey – Bothell High School, Bothell, WA
  • Preston Lee – Bothell High School, Bothell, WA
  • Laney Pham – Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, WA
  • Shane Walz – Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, WA

Congratulations to all the fine bands who participated!   Please join us next year on the last weekend of January for the 57th Annual Clark College Jazz Festival!

VANCOUVER, WA — Clark College will host the 56th Annual Clark College Jazz Festival with three full days of exhilarating big band jazz on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, January 25-27, 2018 in the Gaiser Center, 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver WA 98663. Admission is $5 per day. Clark College students and children under 12 accompanied by an adult will be admitted free of charge.

Sixty middle and high school jazz ensembles from throughout Washington and Oregon are scheduled to perform in this year’s competition with trophies presented to the top three jazz ensembles for middle schools and A through AAAA division high schools. Individual outstanding musician awards will also be presented at the end of each division’s preliminary competitions. At the end of Saturday evening, the Dale Beacock Memorial Sweepstakes Award will be presented to one outstanding band selected from the entire festival.

Preliminary competitions for the 2018 festival will start on Thursday with middle schools from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with middle school finals starting at 5:30 p.m. On Friday and Saturday, competition will begin at 8:00 a.m. with the A and AA division jazz bands performing on Friday and AAA and AAAA jazz bands taking the stage on Saturday. Finals competitions will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings ending with the trophies presentation.
The Clark College Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Festival Director Richard Inouye, will perform at 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, noon and 8:30 p.m. on Friday, and at 12:20 p.m. on Saturday. The 2017 Sweepstakes Band, Garfield High School Jazz Band (Seattle, WA), under the direction of Clarence Acox, will hold the spotlight on Saturday evening at 8:30 p.m.

For complete information about the Clark College Music Department concerts featuring the orchestra, band, jazz ensemble, and choirs, please see http://www.clark.edu/campus-life/arts-events/music/index.php

The History of the Clark College Jazz Festival

The heritage of the Clark College Jazz Festival dates back to 1962 when Hud­son’s Bay H.S. band director, Don Cammack, began organizing a one-day high school stage band invitational for schools from Clark and Skamania coun­ties. Organized by the Vancouver and Evergreen public schools, Fort Vancou­ver H.S. and Evergreen H.S took turns hosting the festival each year. Sponsors of the festival included Southwest Washington Music Association and Lower Columbia River Music Educators Association.

In the early years, the trophies were made by middle school band director, Jack Ager, creatively construct­ing musician figures from miscellaneous hardware and car parts! In 1970, Dale Beacock, then the band director at both Fort Vancouver H.S. and Clark Col­lege, held the invitational “Clark Stage Band Contest” for the first time at its current home, Clark College. This inaugural event hosted 17 high school jazz bands with preliminary competitions held in what was then known as the Gaiser Hall dining area, with finals in the gymnasium. Dale’s vision of a competitive jazz showcase for schools throughout Washington and greater Portland pro­moted the growth of the festival and in 1971 the festival grew to 32 bands held over two days on Friday and Saturday.

In 1976, the number of participating bands grew to 52, welcoming bands from Oregon and Idaho. In 1985, Chuck Ramsey took over the reigns as Festival Coordinator successfully organizing the festival for the next 22 years. Chuck’s achievements bringing consistency in the operations of the festival and increased student involvement set the ground­work for the educational enhancement, leadership, teamwork, and a sense of ownership the Clark student volunteers experience today. In 2008, Richard Inouye came onboard as Festival Director. His professional and educational experience has brought a new dynamic to the festival by encouraging a focus on jazz education and utilizing technology to promote community awareness, public support, and streamline festival operations.

In 2012, the Clark College Jazz Festival celebrated its 50th Golden Anniversary. Highlights of this milestone included the Clark College Alumni Band directed by Chuck Ramsey which fea­tured Clark band alumni from three generations of Clark band directors. Dale Beacock and Chuck were also presented Legacy Sweepstakes Awards for their historic contributions to the festival.

Today, the Annual Clark College Jazz Fes­tival welcomes 60 middle and high school jazz ensembles, over 1,200 student jazz musicians to the campus, and over 3,000 people to the Vancouver com­munity throughout the three-day event. In 2013, the festival went international welcoming two bands from Tsawwassen, British Columbia!

About the Clark College Music Department

Clark College offers a two-year Associate in Music Degree (DTA/MRP) that includes music theory/ear training, instrumental and vocal performance training, and ensemble experience. Classes are designed to prepare the music major for advanced studies at a four-year institution while providing the non-major with the skills and background to fully enjoy music as a cultural pursuit. Ensembles on campus include three choral groups, orchestra, concert band, and jazz ensemble. Three tenured and several adjunct faculty, provide professional instruction to the 500+ students that pass through Beacock Music Hall each year.

Photo by Andy Bao Clark College Independent

To start out with a somewhat-painful cliché – it is indeed that time of year again. The time where holiday fanatics mourn the conclusion of the beloved holiday season. The time where we ashamedly remember all the goals we had set for ourselves at the beginning of January that were eventually abandoned. The time where we pull a 180 and write up a whole new list of resolutions for ourselves as we boldly claim, “this upcoming year will be different!”

This sentiment is not to make you feel guilty or discouraged. I myself am the queen of setting a new year goal that is – more often than not – somehow magically forgotten after a mere week or two. Upon reflecting on our tendencies to hold the new year to such a high standard, I am humored by our human nature. The concept of time and the calendar are manmade instruments that are used to organize and make sense of our lives. Why do so many of us make excuses and put off the changing of a habit until the beginning of the following year? Essentially, New Year’s Day is simply another day, another hour, another minute. Though, it is true that many of us get accustomed to our habits, stuck in our ways, and as time passes, more unlikely to change. If ringing in a new year can signify the beginning of a new chapter and new motivations, then that in itself is worth celebrating!

Check Out the Playlist on Spotify!

Beginning a new chapter of life in general is most often bittersweet, and this playlist aims to capture some of that. This might mean leaving a piece of yourself behind – a home, a job, a relationship (The Kinks’ “So Long,” Ryan Adam’s “Outbound Train,” Tom Petty’s “Time to Move On”). This might simultaneously be the opening of a new door that brings new adventures, new people to meet, and a strong, wanderlust-fueled desire to dive deep into the unknown – even when you are not sure where it may lead you (Mac Demarco’s “The Stars Keep on Calling My Name,” The B-52s’ “Roam”).

There are songs of reinvention and longing on a personal level, particularly Joni Mitchell’s “Free Man in Paris” – a track that mirrors my heart’s wildest desires to a T.

“I was a free man in Paris
I felt unfettered and alive
There was nobody calling me up for favors
And no one’s future to decide…”
The playlist is closed by two power ballads, the first being pop sensation Lorde’s hit single “Green Light” from her sophomore album, Melodrama. Released this year to high critical acclaim, the twenty-one-year-old New Zealander described “Green Light” as a post-heartbreak rebuilding anthem.

“But I hear sounds in my mind
Brand new sounds in my mind
But honey I’ll be seein’ you, ever, I go
But honey I’ll be seein’ you down every road
I’m waiting for it, that green light, I want it…”
The last tune is my personal favorite Bruce Springsteen song – “Thunder Road.” The opening track on his 1975 album Born to Run, the lyrics are fueled by the desire to find a sense of meaning and purpose by stepping outside a life one has always known.

“Hey, what else can we do now?
Except roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair
Well, the night’s busting open, these two lanes will take us anywhere
We got one last chance to make it real
To trade in these wings on some wheels
Climb in back, heaven’s waiting on down the tracks
Oh oh, come take my hand
We’re riding out tonight to case the promised land…”

In his VH1 Storytellers interview in 2005, Springsteen himself described the music as sounding like “an invitation. Something is opening up to you…a sense of a larger life, greater experience…a sense of personal exploration, your possibilities…the idea that it is all lying somewhere inside of you…just on the edge of town.”

“There were ghosts in the eyes of all the boys you sent away
They haunt this dusty beach road in the skeleton frames of burned-out Chevrolets
They scream your name at night in the street
Your graduation gown lies in rags at their feet
And in the lonely cool before dawn
You hear their engines rolling on
But when you get to the porch, they’re gone on the wind
So Mary, climb in
It’s a town full of losers, I’m pulling out of here to win.”

There is no time like the present, and there is no time to waste. Make the most of this new year – go create! Go pursue! Go explore! Go live!