Bill Watrous Jazz Festival

Sam Houston State University’s School of Music will host the sixth annual Bill Watrous Jazz festival April 1 and 2 at the James and Nancy Gaertner Performing Arts Center at 7:30 p.m.

The Texas Jazz Educators Association, TJEA, is a non-profit organization that enhances the understanding and appreciation of jazz and its history and also attempts to provide leadership skills to teachers, students and artists.

This is the state’s oldest jazz festival, as it is in its 58th year.

The festival allows high school and college bands to perform 30 minute intervals. The concert gives developing and upcoming artists opportunities to mature their craft.

Division ratings will be given to each band’s critique sheets and trophies will be awarded at the closing ceremony. The winners will be placed in first, second and third categories for college, high school and middle school. Outstanding soloists and musicians will also be awarded.

On both days ensembles will play for 30 minute intervals from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with a few breaks and professional clinic sessions.

The registration fee for each band is $350 and includes an audio cd of the performance and access to the clinics and performances. Aric Schneller is the conductor of the jazz ensemble and is the festival coordinator.

General admission is $15, $12 for seniors and $5 for SHSU students with university ID. There will be a concert and award ceremony featuring Bill Watrous, Bobby Shew and other special guests as well as the SHSU Jazz Esemble.

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