MHS to host jazz music festival Saturday

Music lovers listen up.

A full day of jazz music will fill the auditorium at Marshalltown High School Saturday as the school is one of the host sites for the Iowa High School Music Association Jazz Festival. A total of 12 schools in classes 2A and 4A will be participating in the event in town.

The bands are judged by a panel who assign a rating of 1 to 5 with 1 being the highest rating. The bands also receive feedback on their work during a clinic following their performance. MHS is a host site for the event for the second straight year.

“Visitors are going to hear a wide range of jazz styles and a wide range of abilities,” said Bret Lee, director of music at MHS.

The festival begins with the first band at 8:35 a.m. and the final band performing at 3:55 p.m. Marshalltown High School will have its bands perform at 11:40 a.m. (Jazz 2) and 3:05 p.m. (Jazz 1).

“The students look forward to this because you are in control,” Lee said. “You know what you have to do to earn a Division 1 (rating),” Lee said.

East Marshall is the other local high school at the event and they have a scheduled 9 a.m. performance.

“Because of the ratings system, it’s educational to perform at this contest with the judges’ comments and clinic,” said East Marshall Band Director Mary Potter. “It’s more of a competition with ourselves to do well than against other bands.”

Lee said there will be two of the top 4A bands in town as Waukee won the jazz championships (a separate event from the festival) last year and Southeast Polk got third.

Lee said whenever you have people from throughout the area visit town for a big event it’s a good thing.

“It’s nice to be able to bring people into town,” he said.

Admission to the festival is $5 for adults and $3 for students.