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 Jazz Scholars in Tune at Summer

February 17, 2020 February 2020 No Comments

Five musicians from Wairarapa Colleges recently spent at week at the NZ Jazz Foundation Summer School at Victoria University in Wellington.  The scholars had their fees sponsored by Jazz in Martinborough with proceeds from their 9th annual festival held in Spring 2019.

“We’re really pleased and proud of these students,” says Scholarship Organiser, Mary Quayle.  “We’re pleased to be able to provide funding from the proceeds of the festival to such a worthwhile, educational cause.  And very proud to see how well the students did at the actual workshops and Summer School concert.”

Three of the local schools were represented at the workshops, with Adam Butler (saxophone), Rowan Higgins (alto saxophone) and Amethyst Sutherland (bass guitar) from Kuranui College; Thomas Spencer (drums) from Rathkeale and Nicki Thomson-Schulz (electric bass) from Chanel.

Nicki Thomson said afterwards that “the summer school was exciting and a great week of learning.”  He said there were a range of students from around the country, from a range of schools.  “As a musician from a small school, it was an amazing experience to be able to perform and jam with different musicians from outside of the Wairarapa. Because there were so many other college-aged students, I was able to connect with like minded musicians and make lots of new friends who also like jazz.”

Students were selected from attendees at the Jazz in Martinborough organised Fresh Jam workshops and concert held each year in association with, and just a few weeks prior to, the festival proper.  Selections were made by festival Patron Dr Rodger Fox in consultation with music teachers from the participating colleges.

As Nicki says: “The workshops [at the Summer School] were well presented and a big step up from Rodger Fox’s Improvisation workshop that I attended earlier in the year.”

He also has a message for aspiring musicians thinking they might like to share in this exciting opportunity. “I highly recommend the Jazz Summer School to anyone who enjoys music and has a passion for jazz. I got so much out of it and am looking forward to doing it all again next year.”

Jazz in Martinborough have already committed to providing more Summer Jazz School scholarships in 2021, with proceeds from their 10th Annual  festival in the first weekend of Spring 2020.

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