You Just Got Kennied
A clearinghouse for the most up-to-date info, only for current VJC members...
Please note that updated information appears below in red.
(Last updated on 04/18/2022. Anything in red is new.)
• Are we done for the year?
Yes, we done for the year. The final two improvisation sessions (scheduled for 5/24 and 5/26) have been cancelled, due to illness.
• What is next up for the VJC?
VJC Alumni Band. It will run from early June to early July. Learn more about it here.
• Should I bring a pencil to rehearsals?
Why yes, you should always bring a pencil to VJC rehearsals. Thank you for asking.
Also, bring a pencil to VJC rehearsals.
• Regarding VJC consent/waiver forms:
Please return the VJC consent/waiver form, completed and signed by a parent or guardian ASAP. In part, these forms allow Ravenscroft to use images, sound, likenesses, etc., of student performers in online social media posts, YouTube videos, and so forth. You will not be allowed to take the stage on 5/7 without submitting a completed form.
Students are encouraged to thank Indigo trombonist Kennie Sohadi for reminding the VJC Director back in mid-to-late January to get going on these. #YouJustGotKennied
• Remaining rehearsal schedule for the VJC Indigo Big Band:
None. The 5/24 improvisation session has been cancelled due to illness.
• Remaining rehearsal schedule for the VJC Sapphire Ensemble:
None. The 5/26 improvisation session has been cancelled due to illness.
• Awesome...but who's next to me in this band?
VJC Indigo Big Band...
Jack Cristofano (Alto Sax I), Hamilton HS, 12
Allan Brown (Alto Sax II), Chandler HS, 10 (not joining the VJC for the 4/2 performance)
Joining on Alto Sax for 4/2: Sapphire Ensemble member Fabian Ochoa, Mesa HS, 12
Hayden Lucas (Tenor Sax I/II), Mountain View HS, 11 (not joining the VJC for the 3/8 performance)
Jake Parkison (Tenor Sax I/II), Hamilton HS, 11
Kevin Winterburn (Baritone Sax), Chandler HS, 10 (not joining the VJC for the 4/2 performance)
Joining on Baritone Sax for 4/2: Sapphire Ensemble member Christopher Montgomery, Mountain View HS, 12
Jesse Deems, Desert Ridge HS, 12 (not joining the VJC for the 5/7 performance)
Melanie Lin, Chandler HS, 11 (not joining the VJC for the 4/2 performance)
Joining on Trumpet for 4/2: Former VJC member Leodan Parra, Campo Verde HS, 12
Asha Bjork, Mesa HS, 12 (not joining the VJC for the 3/8 performance)
Sesar Parra, Campo Verde HS, 11 (not joining the VJC for the 3/8 performance)
Kennie Sohadi, Mountain View HS, 11 (not joining the VJC for the 3/8 performance)
Asher Joslin, Mesa HS, 12 (not joining the VJC for the 3/8 performance)
Zach Lemons (Bass Trombone), Hamilton HS, 12
Dustin Bruning (Guitar), Mountain View HS, 11 (not joining the VJC for the 3/8 performance)
Weston Thomas (Piano), Hamilton HS, 12
Spencer Huttenmeyer (Bass), Thunderbird HS, 12
Tyson Wibe (Drums), Mountain View HS, 10 (not joining the VJC for the 3/8 performance)
Joining on Drums for 3/8: Sapphire Ensemble member Quinn Dorward, Brophy College Preparatory, 11
VJC Sapphire Ensemble...
Keith Fitch (Alto Sax), Desert Vista HS, 11
Fabian Ochoa (Tenor Sax), Mesa HS, 12
Christopher Montgomery (Baritone Sax), Mountain View HS, 12
Rylan Gray (Trumpet), Desert Vista HS, 11
Eddie Galicia (Guitar), Thunderbird HS, 10 (not joining the VJC for the 3/8 performance)
Tyson Wibe (Vibraphone), Mountain View HS, 10
Summer Lee (Bass), Homeschooled, 7 (not joining the VJC for the 4/2 & 5/7 performances)
Joining on Bass for 4/2 & 5/7: Indigo Big Band member Spencer Huttenmeyer, Thunderbird HS, 12
Quinn Dorward (Drums), Brophy College Preparatory, 11
• Media files from VJC ensemble appearances at Highland/ASU:
Below please find audio files from various Highland/ASU Jazz Festival clinicians, as well as a "clean" audio track of each performance (sans commentary). From top to bottom, each band's .mp3 files should be the basic performance recording, then an adjudication from Scott Burns, then an adjudication from Rob Parton, then an adjudication from Joey Sellers.
• Previous performance schedule for this year's VJC groups (archived):
Tues., 3/8 @ Ravenscroft @ 7:00 p.m. - VJC Winter Performance
(with Sapphire Ensemble soundcheck @ 6:10-6:25 p.m. and Indigo Ensemble soundcheck @ 6:25-6:40 p.m.)
Notes: There are a few changes to the overall event plan. The Indigo Ensemble will now perform first while the Sapphire Ensemble closes out the concert. As such, that means the brief soundcheck schedule announced previously must also shift/change: The soundcheck for the Sapphire Ensemble will run from 6:10 to 6:25 p.m. and the soundcheck for the Indigo Ensemble will run from 6:25 to 6:40 p.m. (Ravenscroft Hall will open to the public at 6:45 p.m. for the 7:00 p.m. show.)
The Indigo Ensemble will be performing Groove Merchant, Blues By Five, Little Sunflower, and Doxy on this event. This change in repertoire for the event (with VJC Blues, Stacker, Feed My Lambs, Jazz Goes to Siwash, It Only Happens Every Time, Afternoon, and Lemon Twist moving off the program in the past couple of weeks) is due to the fact that our available personnel for the event has changed multiple times. Approximately half the band will now be absent from this performance, so we will move forward with more of a large combo approach. The Sapphire Ensemble will play Stolen Moments, St. Thomas, Be Present, and Quackenclocker.
Attire for this concert will be a long-sleeve VJC t-shirt, paired with black (or medium-to-dark blue) pants, skirt, etc. Please no blue jeans.
Sat., 4/2 @ Highland High School @ 9:30 a.m. (Sapphire Ensemble) and 4:00 p.m. (Indigo Big Band) - Highland/ASU Jazz Festival Performance & Clinic
(9:00-10:30 a.m. Warm-up/Performance/Clinic by Sapphire Ensemble and 3:30-5:00 p.m. Warm-up/Performance/Clinic by Indigo Big Band)
Notes: The tentative schedule provided to us by the Highland ASU Jazz Festival has now been confirmed and locked in. There are no changes for the VJC (from the previously-posted schedule). Here is that now-confirmed schedule…
VJC Sapphire Ensemble:
9:00 a.m. Warm-up
9:30 a.m. Performance (Be Present, Prelude to a Kiss, and Blue Skies)
10:00 a.m. Clinic
VJC Indigo Big Band:
3:30 p.m. Warm-up
4:00 p.m. Performance (Lemon Twist, Always and Forever, and Don't Git Sassy)
4:30 p.m. Clinic
With the 30-minute warm-up before each group’s performance and the 30-minute clinic afterward, the time commitment to be there at Highland HS is at least 90 minutes, though you are strongly encouraged to be there to support the other VJC ensemble in their performance as well. And if you stay, you will also reap the great benefit of viewing the other group's clinic and learning from their clinician. Also, jazz great Joe Lovano will be offering a clinic in the auditorium from 1:30 to 2:20 p.m. You might greatly benefit from what he has to offer.
Finally, we will have some absences from the VJC at this event. Three members of the Indigo Big Band from Chandler High School will be unavailable due to a school commitment that weekend. We are endeavoring to find students who can sub in with the band, starting in mid-March. Additionally, VJC Director Russell Schmidt will be performing in Pennsylvania and Ohio at that time, so MCC Jazz Faculty (and former VJC Sapphire Ensemble Director) Paul Brewer will be leading both groups during their appearances at Highland High School.
Attire for this performance will again be a long-sleeve VJC t-shirt, paired with black (or medium-to-dark blue) pants, skirt, etc. Please no blue jeans.
Fri., 5/6 @ Ravenscroft @ 6:00 p.m. (for seniors only) - VJC Senior Showcase with special guest Lucas Pino
Notes: Eligible high school seniors in the VJC who want to play a jazz standard in Jazzbird (with guest saxophonist Lucas Pino and a professional rhythm section) can do so. Any participating senior who would like to run their standard once (in advance of the actual performance), would need to be available at Ravenscroft by 5:00 p.m. that day for a soundcheck.
The Director has been asked a few times by students what a "jazz standard" means in this context. The bottom line is it needs to be either an original jazz classic (like something composed by Miles Davis, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, etc.) or an Amercian songbook standard (as by Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, etc.) that is commonly played by jazz performers. If there is a litmus test for this definition, let's have it be this: if this is a tune you can call at a Sunday jam session at the Nash and everyone in the professional "house trio" knows the tune and can back you on the tune, then that's an appropriate tune to call to play with Lucas Pino.
Also, the deadline to let the Director know if you are interested in playing with Lucas Pino on the Senior Showcase has been pushed back another week. The deadline is now Friday, April 22nd at 12:00 noon. (Please notify the Director via email.)
Sat., 5/7 @ Ravenscroft @ 2:00 p.m. - Spring Performance, with special guest Lucas Pino
Notes: There will be a soundcheck/dress rehearsal with guest saxophonist Lucas Pino before the event. The soundcheck will run as follows:
11:30 - 12:25 pm = Rehearsal with Lucas/Soundcheck for the Indigo Big Band, the group that plays LAST on the concert.
12:35 - 1:20 pm = Rehearsal with Lucas/Soundcheck for the Sapphire Ensemble, the octet that plays FIRST on the concert.
Lucas Pino will also offer a free clinic in Jazzbird earlier that same morning, from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. VJC members are strongly encouraged to attend and learn from this formidable jazz master.
Attire for this performance will once again be a long-sleeve VJC t-shirt, paired with black (or medium-to-dark blue) pants, skirt, etc. Please no blue jeans.
While the clinic will be free (and open to the public), the 2:00 p.m. concert will be a ticketed event ($25 adults/$10 students). Tickets are available for purchase through a button on this event page:
We have a coupon code for your families for this event. But please read this very carefully. It requires the honor system and we truly need everyone to play ball on this. (Thanks!) Please let your parents/guardians know the following as they buy tickets for the concert:
• There is a Coupon Code for the event. It is: Pino50
• It offers 50% off per ticket for up to two tickets per member's family.
• We have around 24 members (depending on how the Sapphire bass situation turns out). So the code can be used a total of 48 times before it stops working. (You have to punch in the code for each of the first two seats purchased.) So a family might be buying four tickets all in one shot (so the seats can be together), but they should apply the code only to the two most expensive tickets.
• Ultimately, this has to be honor system-based. Please do not give out the code to aunts/uncles/grandparents/etc. It should only be used twice by each VJC member's family. If one member uses 6 or 8 of 'em, then the final student's parents/guardians to buy tickets will get frozen out of the discount. And then Emily Rogers (at Ravenscroft) or the VJC Director will need to have an uncomfortable conversation with someone as to why there are so many family members coming to the concert on half-price tickets.
Bottom line: We encourage you to get your parents/guardians to start buying tickets ASAP. Lucas was here with the VJC in a performance at the MIM in 2019. We sold around 265 tickets for that event. (The MIM holds 300.) Well, Ravenscroft Hall holds 200...so it is possible this event will sell out, unless the 2:00 p.m. start time is an impediment for concertgoers.
One final detail on this event...Student performers on this event do not need a ticket for the half of the concert they aren't playing on. We have reserved 16 seats in the hall (Row G 1-4 & 20-23 and Row H 1-4 & 21-24) for VJC performers. These seats are in the back and along the aisles, so big band members can be first out at intermission to go warm up. The big band will use those seats in the first half...and Sapphire will use 50% of those seats in the second half. Please be in the hall to cheer on your peers (and Lucas)!