Claremore Daily Progress

August 22, 2013

Students perform in All-Star Jazz Band

Staff Reports
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE — Last April, Claremore High School band members auditioned for the Oklahoma All-Star Jazz Band.

The band is comprised of students who have risen through the ranks to shine across the state as the best jazz musicians in high school.

Claremore boasted three members Nick Gunkel, 2013 Senior Trombone, Dylan Rumsey, 2013 Senior Trombone and Laura Ryan, a junior and alto saxophone player in the current CHS Band.

Members met July 23-25 to learn and perfect the jazz selections before performing in concert on the last day.

Students performed six songs at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center in Tulsa. Guest clinicians Dr. James Greeson from the University of Arkansas and Reid Bennett from Broken Arrow Schools conducted the concert.

Members of the Oklahoma Jazz Educators, made up of top directors from different schools, came together to hold blind auditions for each instrument needed for the 20 member band.

Claremore students competed against all 5A and 6A schools in the state for their chance to be selected as members of the band.

Gunkel is currently continuing his education at the University of Central Oklahoma on a full tuition music shcolarship and accompanying academic scholarship. Gunkel will minor in music at UCO.

Rumsey now attends the University of Tulsa, working on a double major in music and graphic design. Rumsey will be under the direction of Rod Clark, former band director for Will Rogers Junior High School, who was hired this year as an adjunct instructor for the low brass and jazz programs at TU.  He graduated from Claremore High School last year and is the recipient of a music and academic scholarship.

Ryan, the third member from Claremore, will take the helm of the Zebra Marching Band as a junior drum major this year.

As a sophomore, Ryan earned academic honors.

Alexis Goad, 2013 senior percussionist, who will be playing with the OSU Drumline next year, and Rachel LeMaster, senior baritone and alto saxophone player in the CHS band, were selected as alternates for the All-Star Jazz Band.