High school jazz musicians and vocalists from all over California and other neighboring states came to Fullerton College to compete against their peers and to learn from music industry professionals in various clinics provided.
The competitions and clinics were part of the 44th Annual Jazz Festival that took place on Friday, Apr. 20 and Saturday, Apr. 21.
“The festival is a great place for students to compete and learn from the Fullerton College faculty,” said Jamie Shew, Festival Coordinator and Coordinator of Vocal Jazz Studies.
“It’s an opportunity for them to perform in a very professional place [and to] get critiqued by professionals in the jazz field,” Shew continued.
Fullerton College students performed in multiple concerts, exposing the high school students to the talent on campus.
There was also a performance at noon on each day from Fullerton College’s JTrain accompanied by vocalists and the Fullerton College Jazz Band.
Each day ended with a closing ceremony featuring an all-faculty ensemble before awards were given out to students.
But the festival is more than just winning awards and competing.
The main goal of the festival has always been an emphasis at showing high school students what the Fullerton College Music Department has to offer.
“We want the visiting high schools to love our campus and to be exposed to our fantastic teachers here so that when they’re making a decision of what college to go to, they come here,” said Bruce Babad, Coordinator of Jazz Studies.
Shew also seconded this sentiment.
“Yes, there’s a competitive aspect, but I think that’s not our priority. It’s really the educational aspect and the recruitment aspect and wanting people to experience jazz at a high level and perform at a high level.”
Food, beverages and gifts were available to purchase during the festival and many students took advantage of the funnel cakes for sale.
“It’s just a fun day,” Shew said. “It takes people away from their everyday and they get to come and enjoy music.”