Walker Valley to host Jazz Band Clinic
by JOYANNA WEBER, Banner Staff Writer
Jan 26, 2012 | 1451 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
WALKER VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL MUSICIANS, back left, are John Burton, Ryan Colbert and Catherine Betts. Front left are Clay Butler and Kyle Newman. The students will participate in the All-East Tennessee Jazz Band. Banner photo, JOYANNA WEBER
WALKER VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL MUSICIANS, back left, are John Burton, Ryan Colbert and Catherine Betts. Front left are Clay Butler and Kyle Newman. The students will participate in the All-East Tennessee Jazz Band. Banner photo, JOYANNA WEBER
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Walker Valley High School will be the first school outside the Knoxville area to host the All-East Tennessee Jazz Band Clinic and Concert in more than a decade.

The clinic kicks off for selected students on Friday night and culminates with a jazz concert at 7 p.m. Saturday. The concert will be held in the WVHS Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

“Last year they were looking for a different place to do it, so I volunteered Walker Valley,” said Alan Hunt, Walker Valley’s band director.

The school was approved as the site last January.

Approximately 60 students from East Tennessee will participate in the event. Participants are ranked and divided into three separate bands based on their auditions. The Blue Band is composed of the students who had the best audition, the Red Band the second best and the White Band third.

Hunt said the Blue band will perform a piece with “Doc” Severinson, leader of “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson” band for 30 years.

Five students from Walker Valley have qualified for the event, Hunt said. Catherine Betts on the bass trombone and John Burton on the trumpet made it into the Blue Band. Clay Butler, Ryan Colbert and Kyle Newman will be playing in the Red Band.

Students auditioned in November. Each student played a preselected piece, sight read a piece and then performed an improvised solo during the audition.

Betts and Burton will also audition for All-State Jazz Tennessee band during the clinic.

Auditions for the All-State Jazz Clinic are taped on Friday night of the event.

“Then their recordings are sent into college professors across the state, along with people who made All-Middle Tennessee Jazz and All West-Tennessee jazz,” Hunt said.

These professors pick the top performers to be a part of the All-State Jazz Band. Students will find out in March whether they made that prestigious band.

Walker Valley students have participated in All-East Tennessee clinics, whether in band, orchestra or jazz band, since the school opened in 2001. The clinic and concert are sponsored by the East Tennessee School band and Orchestra Association, an affiliate of the Tennessee Music Education Association.