PCDS middle school jazz band wins highest honors at jazz festival

Phoenix Country Day School Middle School Jazz Band (submitted photo)

Phoenix Country Day School Middle School Jazz Band (submitted photo)

On Tuesday, March 15, the Phoenix Country Day School Middle School Jazz Band took the highest honor at the Arizona Band and Orchestra Director’s Association Area Jazz Festival, held at Sandra Day O’Connor High School.

The group, comprised of PCDS sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, meet with PCDS jazz instructor Dave Rowe before school most mornings to learn the basics of playing and listening to jazz.

The PCDS jazz bands have consistently performed at the ABODA festival over the last 30 years, according to a press release. This year’s performance featured performances of “Serenede to a Cuckoo,” by Roland Kirk; “My Little Suede Shoes,” by Charlie Parker; and “Malguena,” a powerful Latin classic.

While required to take music in the middle school during their normal class schedule, this particular group of PCDS students volunteers to come to campus each morning at 7 a.m. in order to practice and learn with Mr. Rowe.

“This group decided at the beginning of the year that they wanted to be really good, and they have accomplished that goal,” stated Mr. Rowe in the release. “We work every day to bring a level of proficiency to our young musicians, but jazz music invariably comes from performers hearts.  And this group of young students certainly has heart.”

Phoenix Country Day School is a nonprofit, private, independent day school for students in grades pre-kindergarten through grade 12. It is located 3901 E. Stanford Dr. in Paradise Valley.

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