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Greetings from the 2017 AMEA Conference (February 3 & 4, Mesa Convention Center, Mesa, AZ)!

Dwight Kilian and I were recently at the Valley Jazz Cooperative booth in the Exhibition Area to announce the launch of the West Valley Jazz Cooperative. The VJC, an educational initiative of Music Serving the Word Ministries, is delighted to begin a new partnership with Glendale Community College. We are excited by this opportunity to offer outstanding jazz instruction to young people (grades 8-12) on the west side and are grateful to Dave Schmidt and his colleagues at GCC for their commitment to collaborate on this new venture.

In ten short months, the East Valley Jazz Cooperative (hosted by Mesa Community College) has grown to become a full big band. Based on the success of the EVJC, our aspirations for the West Valley Jazz Cooperative are similar. But regardless of the size of the first edition of the WVJC---the group will likely be an expanded combo in its first iteration----we are committed to offering students a positive learning environment that develops skills and fosters creativity.

Now’s the time for the next chapter of the Valley Jazz Cooperative. West side and central Phoenix students interested in applying to the West Valley Jazz Cooperative at GCC can do so here.

The VJC: Explore your gifts. Find Your Passion.

–Russell Schmidt, VJC Director

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