The Kodiak High School Jazz Band under the direction of Michael Remy took first place at Alaska’s state-wide music festival in Anchorage.
Deb Holden-Engvall is the mother of one of the young musicians who wowed the festival judges over the weekend. She took part as a chaperone and watched Kodiak’s vocal and instrumental entries in the festival. She said that listening to the judges’ feedback was one of the best parts of the experience.
— (KHS Jazz Band 1 "One of the … just came alive.")
Before the high school jazz band took state honors, they prepared by playing concerts here in Kodiak.
— (KHS Jazz Band 2 "And I was … it was amazing.")
The current high school music students are ones that managed to hold on to music education without getting to take classroom music in elementary and middle school. Holden-Engvall noted that there were many other families who weren’t able to provide music lessons for their children.
When the district’s K through 12 music students put on three nights of concerts this spring, she said it marked the end of what’s been called a "music drought."
— (KHS Jazz Band 3 "and it was … think its awesome.")
On Sunday, a tired and excited Remy said only that the students’ accomplishments this weekend were "pretty cool." He’s eager to have the student’s themselves talk about their achievements. In the meantime, Holden-Engvall spoke on their behalf.
— (KHS Jazz Band 4 "Just a top … of great kids.")
The Kodiak High School Jazz band competed with 10 other bands from across the state on their way to the top rating. The high honor earned them a spot in the festival’s "command performance" concert with Alaska’s best music students. Also receiving a top honor this weekend was Hazel De La Santos who took first place as a vocal soloist.