PHILADELPHIA - Last week, the student members of Newcomb Central School's (NCS) Jazz Band Ensemble boarded a bus for the long trek to Philadelphia. The 17 members, accompanied by Director Zhanna Pendell and chaperones, traveled to Mount Pleasant High School in Philadelphia to participate in the Heritage Festival's instrumental competition.
As part of the NCS music curriculum, the jazz band travels each year to perform outside the walls of their own high school.
This year's festival included middle and high schools from all over the Northeast as they participated in both instrumental and choral competitions.
The festival provides an excellent opportunity for jazz ensemble students to perform in front of the adjudicators and to receive critical comments and positive performance evaluations, according to Pendell.
"It was a great performance which reflected the terrific amount of energy and work that each student put into the effort," she said.
This was the second year Newcomb students attended this festival.
"These events motivate the students to work hard at the their playing during the year," said Pendell.
The students performed last Saturday and then had a chance to become tourists in downtown Philadelphia before finding out how they compared to other participating schools at the Saturday night awards ceremony.
The jazz ensemble received a plaque indicating a Silver First ranking at this competition. In addition, sophomore Rebecca Bolan nailed down one of the few individual "Maestro" awards due to her excellent trumpet solos during the performance.
All of the students were pleased with how the performance turned out, according to Pendell.
Pendell plans to continue to bring students to perform at the Heritage Festival in years to come.