It was a day of music in Edmonds as the 16th annual Edmonds Jazz Connection got underway Saturday morning.
Produced since 2001 by the Daybreakers Rotary Club of Edmonds, the event featured jazz from the top school music programs in the area, comprising everything from big band classics to small combos to modern vocal jazz.
While the main goal of the event is to showcase our talented student musicians and the schools and instructors who guide and nurture them, it is also a major fundraiser. Funds are raised primarily through donations, and directly support school music programs and students through block grants, funding jazz clinics for student musicians, and awarding scholarships to deserving students.
This year seven scholarships in the amount of $3,000 each were awarded to the following students:
Sydney Morris, Cascade High School Vocal Jazz, has maintained a 3.6 GPA throughout high school. In addition to working with youth as a Sunday school teacher and youth basketball referee, Morris has completed a student service project in the Dominican Republic. She will attend the University of Washington next year, where she will study criminal psychology.
Cindy Nguyen, Meadowdale High School Vocal Jazz, has maintained a 4.0 GPA while taking Advanced Placement courses. She has served her community by tutoring math students and volunteering with Clothes for Kids. She has also traveled to Haiti where she did volunteer work in orphanages. She will be attending Colby College in Maine where she has already been named a Presidential Scholar. She plans to study environmental science.
Julia Norton, Meadowdale High School Vocal Jazz, maintained a 3.8 GPA while enrolled in several advanced placement courses. Her community service work includes volunteering in local elementary and middle schools, and in a nursing home for the elderly. Julia plans to continue her schooling at the University of Portland where she will major in psychology with an emphasis on gerontology.
Jacob Volz, Meadowdale High School Jazz Band, carried a 3.89 GPA while being heavily involved in numerous performing ensembles throughout high school. He has also been involved in his church and community, serving on missions and leading soccer camps. Starting this fall, he will attend the University of Washington’s Foster School of Business.
Clayton Grisham, Meadowdale High School Jazz Band, maintained a 3.76 GPA through high school while involved in extra-curricular activities and starting his own independent business. He plans to continue this as he begins at Gonzaga University this fall in Business and Entrepreneurship.
Leslie Cho, Lynnwood High School Jazz Band, carried a 3.9 GPA while playing multiple sports, holding a leadership position in the National Honor Society, working part-time jobs 20 hours per week, and volunteering to help other student musicians improve their technique. She will start this fall at the University of Washington where she plans to become a veterinarian.
Juan Guitron, Lynnwood High School Jazz Band, maintained a 3.4 GPA while being heavily involved in all aspects of the Lynnwood HS music program. A multi-instrumentalist, Guitron has risen to become a leading amongst his peers. He will attend Western Washington University this fall where in addition to his studies he looks forward to participating in more jazz programs.
All Jazz Connection performances are free to the public, but the program depends on donations to continue its work nurturing the next generation of musicians. You can help support the Jazz Connection by making your donation here.
Learn more about the Jazz Connection at the Daybreakers Rotary Jazz Connection web page here.
— Story and photos by Larry Vogel