Woodland High School Jazz Choir takes first place for second straight year at festival

Choir tops in Vocal Division 3 of the Commencement Bay Jazz Festival

WOODLAND — Woodland High School’s Jazz Choir won first place in Vocal Division 3 of the Commencement Bay Jazz Festival, held in Fife, for the second year in a row – and this is only the festival’s second year.

Members of the Woodland High School Jazz Choir are shown here. Photo courtesy of Woodland School District
Members of the Woodland High School Jazz Choir are shown here. Photo courtesy of Woodland School District

“The quality of our program is what differentiates Woodland High School from our competitors,” said Brent LiaBraaten, WHS Choir teacher. “We receive so much support from the school and the district that our students feel motivated and inspired to perform.”

Students taking Jazz Choir do so knowing that competition comes with the course. “It’s a unique course because it quite literally is performance-based,” said LiaBraaten. “Students meet daily during the zero hour period starting at 7:15 a.m. and have to be totally committed to attend performances; if we’re missing a single student, the choir’s sound is incomplete so it’s imperative all students attend.”

The choir features a pianist, guitarists and even a drummer. “The music repertoire differentiates jazz choir from standard choir, so we’re lucky to have such talented student musicians from the band willing to participate in our class, too,” said LiaBraaten. “The dedication of these students really speaks to how amazing our band program really is, too.”

LiaBraaten points to the support of the Woodland community as one of the keys to the success of Woodland Public Schools’ music programs. “Our community really enjoys music and their support of their schools shows,” he said. “Our fundraisers sell out and we always have big audiences at our performances – their support makes all the difference for our students.”

Information provided by Woodland School District.

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