Musicians to ‘jazz’ it up at 20th annual TC festival

TEMPLE–Trombonist Conrad Herwig and trumpeter Brian Lynch will be featured headline performers for the 20th annual Temple College Jazz Festival set for March 25-27 at Temple College.

The annual event has gained a reputation as one of the best festivals in the southwestern United States, bringing together top professional artists, clinicians and student musicians for an entertaining and educational weekend of jazz.

Saxophonist Chris Vadala and vocalist Jackie Lee will also be special guests for the three-day festival.

Performances by the Temple Jazz Orchestra, Temple College Jazz Ensemble and the Temple College Vocal Jazz Ensemble for the evening concert schedule ensures another banner year.

Festival sponsors are Scott & White, Central Texas Jazz Society and Temple College.

Rockdale’s own Lee “Sparky” Thomason is a trumpet player with the Temple Jazz Orchestra.

Growing reputation

The Festival has gained a state-wide reputation for a weekend of outstanding jazz, bringing together top professional artists, clinicians and hundreds of college, high school and junior high musicians for clinics, competitions and performances.

School performances and clinics are held during the day and are free and open to the public. Evening concerts feature nationally-known guest artists performing with the renowned Temple Jazz Orchestra (TJO), Temple College Jazz Ensemble and the Temple College Vocal Jazz Ensemble.

When the festival started in 1990 there were four participating bands, all from the Temple/Killeen area. TC had only one jazz group of its own and the guest performance was by one of the bands from the University of North Texas.

Over the years the festival has grown along with the TC music program. This year there will be more than 40 performing groups.

The 20th anniversary program will feature four internationally-renowned artists, two of whom will perform together with TJO on Saturday night.

“In 1990, we had no secretarial help, no technical director, no funds to hire a sound person and almost no volunteer staff,” Tom Fairlie, festival founder, said. “Now it takes all of the music department professional staff and a group of about 35 volunteers to run the festival during the weekend.”

Fairlie estimates that more than 3,000 persons will attend concerts and clinics during the weekend. Getting an exact number is difficult because when the local bands play on Friday and Saturday, quite a few relatives attend the daytime concerts. Visiting ensembles bring an average of about 25 persons, including directors and chaperones, he said.

Concerts, tickets

All evening concerts will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Mary Alice Marshall Performing Arts Center on the TC campus.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $5 for students.

A three-day pass is $40 for adults or $10 for students are available in advance at Von Music, the Cultural Activities Center, Scott & White Marketing office and the Temple College Fine Arts office.

For more information contact the TC Fine Arts office at 254-298-8555 or visit the TC website at Click on “Jazz Festival 2010.”

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2010-03-18 digital edition

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