SHS band wins “Best Band” at Festival

The Sheridan High School Jazz band received The Best Band award at the Northwest Jazz Festival in Powell March 22. Bands from all over the state of Wyoming came to this event.

The band played various pieces that differ in style in front of a panel of judges. Judges rate each band on various categories such as jazz concepts, musicality, balance, solos and intonation.

The Sheridan high school jazz band hasn’t won this award since band director Diane Knutson has been teaching at Sheridan High School. “This band is willing to work on details to make themselves outstanding,” said Knutson.

Junior Ethan Chartier and senior Max Marquis won a Best Solo Award.

According to Knutson, the best moment in the performance was, “ in a Alto Sax ballad, they all come in on a unison note quietly and crescendoed and they did it in tune,” said Knutson.

“We played the best we ever have as a band. We were all really in tune throughout the entire performance,” said Marquis.

The style of jazz band music differs from regular symphonic band music. “We play more exciting and upbeat music,” said Marquis. “Its a really relaxed environment,” added Marquis.

It also gives musicians more musical freedom. Jazz band also gives students an opportunity to play instruments that they otherwise wouldn’t play in symphonic band. “In regular band all I get to play are traditional percussion instruments. In jazz I play set,” said junior Matt Schafer.

”This has been an outstanding year in the band department with the Jazz bands and the Concert Bands. We have has some of the best performances and groups that I have worked with. I think its been because of really good senior leadership,” said Knutson.