Poway High School Jazz Festival returns on April 27
By Emily Sorensen
When Chase Pado decided to organize the Poway High School Jazz Festival as part of his senior project, he wasn’t expecting it to be quite so much work.
The PHS Jazz Festival, revived after a long hiatus last year by then-senior Justin Yee, is an all-afternoon event beginning at 2 p.m. Friday, April 27 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts. The festival will feature 12 local middle and high school bands, as well as guest bands.
“It’s a lot more work than I expected,” said Pado, who originally started his senior project just wanting to play music. Pado, who is a piano player in the PHS Jazz Band, is friends with Yee, who was searching for someone to take over the festival this year. “I knew that it needed to be done,” said Pado, who took on the festival organization on top of his additional music work. “I thought it would be a side thing.”
There will be three divisions performing at the festival, middle school, intermediate high school and advanced high school. This is due to the fact that many high schools have both intermediate and advanced jazz bands, with Poway High being an exception, having only one, and will perform in the advanced division.
Twin Peaks Middle School, Black Mountain Middle School and Meadowbrook Middle School will be competing in the middle school division. The intermediate high school division will see competition between San Marcos High School, Mt. Carmel High School and Westview High School, and it will be an all-out battle royale in the advanced division, with Mt. Carmel, Westview, Rancho Bernardo High School, San Marcos High School, Poway High School and the San Diego Youth Symphony Jazz Band, an independent group, all competing for first place.
There will be two guest bands, the Danny Green Trio, who will be showcased and will give a clinic during the dinner break (where attendees can enjoy Big Dev’s BBQ), and the Palomar Jazz Orchestra, who will perform at 8 p.m. before the awards are given out.
There will be soloist award certificates given out, as well as awards for first, second and third place in each division. Judging the festival will be Christopher Hollyday, a former music instructor at Poway High School, Bill Yeager, who is in charge of the jazz program at SDSU, and Doug Meeuwsen, a music instructor at Mission Viejo High School.
In addition to organizing the festival, Pado is working on additional music on his own and for his senior project. He is writing music and in the process of recording an album with his Jazz Trio, the Tough Times Trio, which will feature jazz standards as well as hip-hop. Pado is also working on writing classical music and arranging big band music. Though he won’t be organizing the festival for a second time, Pado hopes someone will step up next year and continue it in his stead.
Pado will also be performing with the PHS Jazz Band the night of festival. “Hopefully, no one will need me while I’m onstage,” said Pado.
Tickets for the PHS Jazz Festival are $10 for adults (18 and over) and $5 for students, with tickets being sold at the door. For more information, contact Chase Pado at ChasePado@cox.net.
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