City High Places Second at Jazz Championships

The Little Hawks finished in second place at jazz championships on Tuesday, April 6th.

Jonathan House, Sports Editor

The City High Jazz Ensemble competed for a state championship at the jazz championships on Tuesday, April 6th. The Little Hawks finished in second place behind only West Des Moines Valley, beating both Johnston and Waukee who finished ahead of the fourth place Little Hawks last year.

“[I wasn’t expecting to beat Waukee and Johnston to make the final concert] at all because I knew that they were amazing schools. When we did get really close and when we were in really good competition with them at the time,” bass trombone player Wade Carter ‘17 said.

The jazz championship, held this year for the first time on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, is the top jazz competition for jazz bands across the state of Iowa. Bands must qualify by either winning another jazz competition or as a wild card. City High finished in second place at the Tallcorn Jazz Festival in February, and would’ve qualified as a wild card, but made it as an automatic qualifier after winning the SEIBA jazz festival in March. City High played three songs at both concerts,  “No Cover” by Paul McKee, “Now Playing” by Bob Florence, and “Atlantis” by McCoy Tyner, arranged by Bob Washut.

The Little Hawks were able to qualify for the final concert as one of the top two bands.

“I heard some of those other bands that are in our division, tons of respect for them, they’re doing great stuff, and I guess they liked us,” jazz band director Ryan Arp said. “To beat those bands that were there was a true honor, because there are some crazy talented bands in our division.”

The Little Hawks had to stay in Ames far later than expected and had to perform at 10:00 at night, and then listen to Valley, the eventual champion. Although City didn’t win it all, Arp says that making the final performance for the first time in school history was a tremendous honor.

“That is a true honor, and I can’t say enough about Valley. This is their fifth straight in a row, so they have a bit of a dynasty going,” Arp said. “I have nothing but respect for what they’re doing and you can’t beat a school that has that many kids that are that dedicated to jazz.”

In addition, Joey Schnebolen ‘17 was honored as an outstanding soloist in class 4A.

“It was fantastic knowing that you were one of the top soloists in the state. It just showed my hard work paid off and it was kinda nice to see that and it was nice to get that award for City High as well,” Schnebolen said.