The Virginia Music Educators Conference of 2018, held mid-November at the Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, was the setting for 3 days of intensive rehearsals by a select group of high school instrumentalists. Thirty-six students were selected from state-wide auditions held earlier in the fall to participate in two all-star jazz bands, with award-winning clinicians. Jared Sims, whose credits include numerous saxophone recording projects, and sharing a stage with the Temptations, the Four Tops, the Artie Shaw Orchestra, and the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, conducted the All-VA Jazz Band. Steve Wiest, a multiple Grammy-nominated trombonist, who played with the Tonight Show Orchestra, Maynard Ferguson, and leads Jazz Studies at Denver University's Lamont School of Music, directed the All-VA Jazz Ensemble. Four students from this area were selected for All-VA Jazz: Rose Paddock (alto saxophone) from Warhill High School, Rafael Waters (drums) from New Kent High School, and Alex Parker (trombone) and Thomas Windley (guitar) both from Jamestown High School. Many thanks to group chaperones which included David Enloe, band director of Warhill High School, and to Steve Turner, band director of Jamestown High School, who helped organize the event.
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