PCM Jazz Band Takes Silver

by Ayrton Breckenridge

On Feb. 17, the PCM Jazz Band went to Indianola’s Jazz Encounter to compete. The band went up against five other bands: West Marshall, Underwood, Williamsburg, Des Moines Christian, and Woodward-Granger. West Marshall placed first. PCM placed second and Des Moines Christian placed third. PCM performed “I’m Beginning to See the Light” by Duke Ellington, “All My Yesterdays” by Peter Blair and “St. Thomas” by Sonny Rollins. A lot of early mornings and work went into the performance for the jazz band with the judges’ notes from previous competitions.

“St. Thomas sounded the best because we did everything right that we worked on previously,” sophomore Chase Spencer said.

The second place finish isn’t abnormal for the PCM Jazz Band. They placed second at Simpson college earlier this year and received a Division II rating at State. The jazz band is still striving for first, but they are continuing to put in the work.

“I thought it was a good performance. We had good intonation, and our balance has improved a lot. We still need to settle into the tempo and match our articulation and style,” band director Louis Dupuis said.

The band did get individual awards at Indianola. Seniors Drew Johnson and Rory Van Gorp got outstanding soloist awards. Johnson also got outstanding soloist in all of 2A. 

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Senior Drew Johnson poses with his outstanding soloist award. 

“All the soloists sounded great,” Van Gorp said.

This isn’t the end of the season for jazz band. Their final competition is Saturday Feb. 24 at Indian Hills Community College, and their final concert is Feb. 27 at the high school for the 6-12 grade concert. The 6-12 concert is the last jazz performance for the seniors. There are a total of six seniors in jazz band this year. In the rhythm section there is Sydney Burns on bass, Drew Johnson on guitar and Jacob Ponder on the drums. In the saxophone section there is Rory Van Gorp on alto saxophone and Brady North on baritone saxophone. In the trumpet section there is Caleb Peter.