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Big Blue Jazz Band makes debut performance

The Big Blue Jazz Band recently earned an excellent rating in their debut competition performance during the 2020 South Carolina Band Directors Association’s Jazz Performance Assessment Festival.
The festival was held at Newberry College. The Big Blue Jazz Band is a new segment of Colleton County High School’s Band of Blue. This is their first time performing in the festival. The local jazz band was one of 56 different ensembles that performed at the recent festival. The band’s leader and director, Tom Finigan, said the jazz band receiving the “excellent” rating is impressive, especially since this is their first showing in this festival and competition.
“We are really proud of our student musicians,” said Finigan. “This ensemble has grown so much musically and has blossomed into a fine jazz band.” We have not offered Jazz to our students in Colleton County since the early 1980’s, so it was long over-due.
“Playing Jazz lets our students improvise and be creative,” he said.
According to Finigan, the newly-formed jazz band meets once a week after school hours. Any band member can join the jazz ensemble.
The Big Blue Jazz Band is also going to be performing in this year’s 2020 WHAM Festival in downtown Walterboro, on March 27-28th.
Big Blue Jazz Band members include: Delaine Ford and Amber Parker, both of whom play clarinets; Amanda Sahlmann and Christina Morrall, who play flutes; Chandler Ballew, Nate Green, Kevin White and Jamiyah Lawton, all of whom are on alto saxes; Daniel Cortez and Anya Elliott on tenor saxes; Devon Valentine, who performs on a baritone sax; Rhaynie Bongiorno on bass guitar; and Faith Mays, Amaya Dunnigan, Jemetrice Lewis and William Finigan, all on trombones.
Additionally, students Logan Bailey, Dooley Hiott, Chloie Epps, Dayzanae Neals and Fantasia Hodges all play trumpets in the jazz band. Payton Taylor plays pinao, and Dominick Jackson plays rhythm guitar. George Ritchie and Kayshawn Lambright play drums.
Band performance schedule
In addition to the Big Blue Jazz Band playing at the city’s upcoming WHAM Festival, here is a schedule of band performances happening this Spring.
• The Band of Blue Concert Band and Symphonic Bands will perform at the 2020 South Carolina Band Directors Association State Concert Performance Assessment at West Ashley High School on March 19th and 20th .
• Both CCMS Bands 7th and 8th grade will perform the next week at the 2020 SCBDA CPA for Middle School Bands at the Charleston School of the Arts on March 24th and 26th.
• All Three CCHS and CCMS Winter Ensembles will be competing at the 2020 CWEA Indoor Championships later in March at Winthrop University.

Heather Walters (1730 Posts)