Battle Ground High School, Chief Umtuch bands enjoy success at the West Salem Jazz Festival

BATTLE GROUND — Jazz Bands from Battle Ground High School and Chief Umtuch Middle School participated in the Fifth Annual West Salem High School Jazz Festival over the weekend of Feb. 11-12, bringing home many awards.

The festival offers a unique format that provides participating bands with a positive experience by grouping them into comparable classifications for the competition. The high schools were organized into Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Heavy programs, while middle school bands were divided into Novice and Advanced groups. There were also competitions for Jazz Combos. Each group competed in a 30-minute period that included an on-stage clinic by one of the festival’s adjudicators.

The Battle Ground High School Jazz Band (pictured here) earned top honors at the West Salem Jazz Festival over the weekend of Feb. 11-12. Photo courtesy of Battle Ground Public Schools
The Battle Ground High School Jazz Band (pictured here) earned top honors at the West Salem Jazz Festival over the weekend of Feb. 11-12. Photo courtesy of Battle Ground Public Schools

Battle Ground High School placed first overall in the Heavy Division; took first place in the Jazz Combo competition and placed third in the Intermediate Division. Battle Ground High School was also awarded the Outstanding Trumpet and Outstanding Sax Section awards in the Advanced Division competitions.

Top soloists in the High School Heavy Division were: Owen Lantz, clarinet and tenor sax; Shane Walz, alto sax; Madelyn Breaux, vocals; Riley Brown, trombone; and senior Cade O’Haver, piano, who also received the most “Outstanding Soloist” award for the entire festival! Top soloists in the High School Advanced Division were: Alex Forstrom, trumpet; Mallory Meyer, trombone; Erika Moody, baritone sax; and Ian McDougal, drums. In the High School Intermediate Division, Katelyn Vaile received a soloist award for alto sax.

Chief Umtuch placed second overall in the Middle School Advanced Division, and soloist awards in the category were given to Dominic Mendoza, bass; Alex Forstrom, trumpet; Mallory Meyer, trombone; and Ashton Hemming, tenor sax. In the Middle School Novice Division, Chief Umtuch students Josh Ferguson, tenor sax; Laila Ronning and Sabrina Prill, alto sax; and Austin Cloke and Ann McCready, trumpet received soloist awards.

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About The Author

Joanna Nicole Yorke is a 2010 graduate of the Edward R. Murrow School of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism with a minor in political science. Yorke is a Clark County native, growing up on her family's 12-acre farm in La Center where her family still resides today. She was previously a reporter at The Reflector Newspaper, covering the city of Battle Ground, the Battle Ground School District and a variety of other areas and topics.

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