Northwinds Homeschool Jazz 1 Band, a group of student-musicians from across the North Olympic Peninsula, celebrate a first place effort at the Clark College Jazz Festival in Vancouver, Wa., on Jan. 24. Submitted photo

Northwinds Homeschool Jazz 1 Band, a group of student-musicians from across the North Olympic Peninsula, celebrate a first place effort at the Clark College Jazz Festival in Vancouver, Wa., on Jan. 24. Submitted photo

Northwinds band takes top honor at jazz festival

Under the direction of Dan Tutton, the Northwinds Homeschool Jazz 1 Band took home top honors at the 58th-annual Clark College Jazz Festival in Vancouver, Wa., on Jan. 24.

The 20 homeschooled youth from Sequim, Joyce and Port Angeles competed in the first round against eight ‘A’ Division schools from Washington and Oregon, and Alaska. After advancing to the finals, Northwinds Jazz 1 competed against Columbia High School and Woodland High School. After playing two final numbers in front of a packed house, Northwinds Jazz 1 was awarded first place.

Along with bringing home the top-place finish, 5 Northwinds musicians received recognition during the Outstanding Musician Awards for their solo efforts during the competition. Those musicians included Aidan Heninger on saxophone, Ariana Burrows on trombone, Emily Smith on piano, Moriah Beglyakov on trumpet, and Sybil Finman on timbales.

Clark College has been host to one of the largest jazz festivals in Southwest Washington for more than 50 years and attracts more than 60 middle and high school instrumental jazz ensembles for the three-day competition. During the day, groups perform to a panel of adjudicators composed of renowned jazz educators and performers. Those invited to the evening finals competition are ranked for first, second and third place.

Northwinds Homeschool Band is a nonprofit band program dedicated to offering musical instruction and development to students ages 9-19. The program has been in existence for more than 18 years and has trained more than 200 musicians. The group is composed of six bands: Concert, Jazz 1, Jazz 2, Intermediate, Advanced and Beginning.

The ensemble has performed more than 100 times, locally and nationally, traveling to Chicago to compete in an invitation-only Festival of Gold in 2019.

The band meets twice weekly for practice and offers public concerts three times each year. The next free public concert for Northwinds Homeschool Band will be in March at Independent Bible Church, 116 E. Ahlvers Road, Port Angeles.

For more about Northwinds and the programs offered along with videos of band performances, visit www.north windshomeschool.org.

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