AVON, Ohio — Three musicians from Avon High School are very excited about their next chance in the spotlight. In fact, you could say they’re jazzed up.
Senior Zack Britting, who plays baritone saxophone; junior Anthony Kwasny on trombone; and second Eli Leder, on bass, are among 17 Ohio students selected to perform with the All-State Jazz Ensemble at the Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA) conference at the Cleveland Convention Center on 5 February.
Avon High School music teacher and jazz director Erik Moellman was asked to chair the ensemble for the conference.
Of his participating students, he said, “They are the product of what I have built over the past six years – the Avon Jazz program. I have jazz ensembles in middle school and high school. So these players were all part of both.
“It’s very exciting for me to see the students (performing at the conference) that I had the opportunity to work with from middle school through high school.”
Last month, the three students — who are a regular part of a 15-person ensemble at their school — took part in a special rehearsal with jazz teachers from Bowling Green State University.
The Avon High School Symphony Orchestra will also perform at the conference.
“They will be under Jesse Martin,” Moellman said. “It is a special honor for the school orchestra to have been selected to perform at the conference.”
The orchestra’s invitation to perform at the conference was “following the submission of an audio recording that was presented to a selection committee,” Moellman said. He noted that this is the first time an Avon ensemble has been invited to perform.
The orchestra was chosen in an evaluation similar to a “blind audition”, in which music teachers listened to the recordings, but were not given the names of the schools or any other information from identification, according to a press release from the local Avon School District. .
The orchestra will perform a 35-minute program on the morning of February 5, the statement said. The group of 57 students includes the best performers of string and wind instruments in the school.
“The award students receive is simply being invited to play,” Moellman said. “Honor is chosen from the auditions – being part of the experience.”
All performances at the Cleveland Convention Center are open to the public. Now known as Cleveland’s Huntington Convention Center, the building is located at 300 Lakeside Ave. His website is https://www.clevelandconventions.com/.
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