Last year, the Spirit of Waxahachie Jazz Orchestra was the invited jazz ensemble to perform at the annual Texas Music Educators Association convention in San Antonio. This year, they are one of three high school jazz ensembles to be invited to the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago, which takes place in December. The Midwest Clinic is in its 73rd year of bringing in the finest in the musical community for a four-day conference to exhibit the selected groups, to offer networking, and clinics.
“We completed an application and submitted by the March deadline to the Midwest directors, who came together to choose the groups they wanted to invite,” band director Rich Armstrong said. “We found out in early April via an email that Waxahachie was chosen.”
“I was excited, proud, and energized for the validation of our students’ efforts. We have been working diligently on the 10 pieces we will be playing while attending the Midwest Clinic in December. We will continue to teach and build players that can continue the legacy of success that has been in place for many years,” Armstrong said.
The band also shares that mindset.
“I have worked with many other musicians and professors to develop a mindset that will lead me into Midwest,” said senior lead trumpet Ashtin Rostetter.
The band members are also looking forward to the once-in-a-lifetime trip.
“I am most excited about showing off my solos and to be able to play for the huge audience we will have,” senior saxophonist Mason Miller said. “It’s also my first time going to Chicago, and I’m excited for the plane ride.”
“I am extremely honored to be part of the band that gets to go to the Midwest Clinic,” said junior trombonist Cade Andrews. “I’ll get to solo there, and I’m looking forward to more performance experience and getting closer to my friends.”
“I’m super excited to experience this performance and the deep dish pizza,” Rostetter said. “I hope to leave Chicago with everlasting memories, and new friendships with other musicians.”
The Jazz Band’s departure to Chicago is on Dec. 18th, and their performance date is Dec. 19th.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This story first appeared in the Fall 2019 print edition of The Arrow.