By Jo Mathis/AAPS District News Editor
The 28 member Huron High School’s Rhythm Rats Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Robert Ash, has been selected as one of 12 bands in the nation to compete in the Swing Central Jazz Competition, a part of the Savannah Music Festival April 1-4 in Savannah, Georgia.
Swing Central Jazz is a three-day workshop and competition with a collective approach to big band jazz instruction. Led by pianist/composer/educator Marcus Roberts, the clinician team includes a wide range of jazz educators such as Jason Marsalis, Jim Ketch (Associate Director), Brianna Thomas and Wycliffe Gordon.
“It is an honor and privilege to have the opportunity to participate in one of the nation’s premier jazz education experiences,” said Ash. “The energy and support of Jazz and Jazz Education in Ann Arbor are unique and inspiring. We have so many students interested and dedicated to learning jazz, as well as jazz educators like Jack Wagner at Community High School, and David Leach at Pioneer High School who inspire students to dig into this American art form.”
Ann Arbor is a nurturing community for upcoming jazz musicians, said Ash.
“I cannot wait for our students to interact with the best high school jazz bands in the nation,” he said, “as well as the world-class jazz musicians who will clinic the bands during the festival.”