In anticipation of Gahanna Lincoln Jazz Band 1's performance at the Ohio Music Education Association's professional development conference, the 22-member ensemble under the direction of Kelly Shellhammer will present a concert at 7:30 p.m. today (Jan. 24) in the auditorium at Middle School West, 350 N. Stygler Road.
Shellhammer said it's a huge honor to be invited to perform at the state conference.
"It's like the state championship of jazz bands," she said. "The GLHS jazz band will be one of only two high school jazz bands from the entire state performing at the conference."
The concert will feature an array of styles in their eight selections, including the late Gary Carney's arrangement of I'm Old Fashioned, Blue Monk, Miles Davis' Seven Steps to Heaven and El Abrazo, a piece commissioned by the Gahanna Lincoln Instrumental Music Boosters last year in memory of trumpet player Shane Albaugh, class of 2012.
Gahanna Lincoln alumnus Steve Purcell, class of 2002, will perform on drums with Jazz Band I at the OMEA conference. Purcell, a drummer, is performing and living in Brooklyn, N.Y.
"It is a popular practice to have a guest perform with the bands at the conference," Shellhammer said. "What better guest than a former student who is making a living playing his instrument in Brooklyn?"
The jazz band features saxophone players Chad Sandlin, Sana Selemon, Laura Stegner, Stephen George and David Blakely.
On trumpet are Austin Viers, Ryan Richards, Andrew Aldis, Mitchell Meldrum, Chris Keener and Carter Hall.
Students playing trombone are George Simon, Shaylin Booth, Beth Collier, Matthew Gregory and Ayanna Knight. On drums are Willie Barthel and Justin Sparks; piano, Carrie Whatley; guitar, Justin Steinhausser; and bass, Tyler Viers and Jailynn Lake-Noel.
The concert at Middle School West is free and open to the public.
The OMEA performance will be in the ballroom of the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Columbus at 1:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8. It also is free and open to the public.