Clovis News

Clovis Unified jazz bands, players win awards

If you follow the jazz students in the Clovis Unified School District, you probably know they're no strangers to winning awards.

At recent festivals, a few of the jazz bands and players picked up awards again.

* Buchanan High School's Jazz Band "A" won an award for outstanding large ensemble in Downbeat magazine's annual student music awards. The band will be featured in the June 2010 issue.

* Alta Sierra Intermediate school won first place in the middle school band division at last month's Reno Jazz Festival. Also at the festival, Alta Sierra's Ben Christiansen, a drummer, won an award for outstanding performer.

* Christiansen and fellow Alta Sierra bandmate Aaron Grisez (vibraphone) won outstanding soloist awards at the Monterey Jazz Festival's student event, the Next Generation Festival.

* Also at the Next Generation Festival, Buchanan High bass player Marianna Fusich-Waller won a scholarship to the Berklee School of Music's summer performance program.

If you want to see some the student jazz players in action, the Clovis High jazz bands will perform tonight at 7 at the Paul Shaghoian Concert Hall, 2770 E. International Ave.

The bands will be joined by well-known local musicians Eva Scow (mandolin) and Jeanette Harris (saxophone). Admission costs $4 for adults and $2 for students.

-- Mike Osegueda, The Fresno Bee