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posted: 1/29/2013 1:14 PM

Top musicians gather for annual 'Jazz in the Meadows'

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Submitted by District 214

The Rolling Meadows High School Music Boosters will present the 28th annual Jazz in the Meadows Jazz Festival Saturday, Feb. 23, at the school, 2901 W. Central Road, Rolling Meadows.

More than 100 jazz bands representing 65 schools from five states will be participating in what is one of the largest and most highly regarded jazz gatherings in the Midwest.

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The general public is welcome to attend and enjoy performances throughout the day and evening. While this is an educational event, guests will have the opportunity to listen to some of the top jazz bands and combos from Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Missouri.

Many of the jazz bands and combos will participate in the competitive portion of the event in an effort to achieve top honors in their specific categories and earn the opportunity to participate in the Grand Finale Concert at the end of the day.

In addition to the highest scoring bands, the Grand Finale Concert will include a performance by a special guest artist. This year's artist is the Bob Lark Alumni Big Band, directed by Bob Lark. It is an ensemble that is virtually a who's who of Chicago area jazz musicians and educators.

There is also a Noontime Concert featuring local guest artist the Nia Quintet, led by Scott Anderson.

The competitive portion of the day will feature performances in four classes for high schools based on school size, a high school combo competition, a single class for junior high bands and a class specifically for "second bands" for high schools that support two levels.

Each band will perform a 15-minute set, followed by a period of evaluation and instruction on certain segments of the selections played. Feedback is presented to each performing group by a trio of jazz professionals and educators.

Jazz in the Meadows draws from many colleges and universities in the Midwest to provide experienced educators on each panel.

The 28th annual Jazz in the Meadows will kick off at 8 a.m. with performances every half-hour throughout the day in various locations in the school. The Grand Finale Concert is scheduled to begin at approximately 4:45 p.m.

Tickets are available at the door and come in several package options. A $10 adult ticket allows access to all performances throughout the day, including the Grand Finale Concert.

Senior citizens and students can enjoy the all-access pass for just $7, while a family of up to four can purchase a full-day pass for $25. Tickets to just the Grand Finale Concert are priced at $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

Breakfast, lunch and snack items will be available throughout the day at several locations throughout the building.

There are numerous opportunities for families to volunteer to help run the festival, place ads in the program book, or serve as sponsors. For details about Jazz in the Meadows, call (847) 718-5752 during school hours or visit rmhsmusicboosters.com.

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