P O W E L L, W y o. - Over 40 high schools and middle schools from Wyoming, Montana and South Dakota descended on Northwest College March 17 and 18 for the Northwest Jazz Festival.
After the music subsided, musicians from five schools were standing in the circle of distinction, including two groups that were directed by former NWC students.
In the vocal category, first place and the only perfect score of the festival went to Kelly Walsh High School's Encore. Jessica Baxter, the group's director attended Northwest from 1996-98. Powell High School's Erocne, directed by John Miller, took second.
Among the instrumental groups, first place went to the Evanston High School Jazz I Band, directed by Richard Garcia. The Riverton Middle School Jazz Band, directed by Jason Bennett, followed in second. The festival was a familiar event for Bennett, who was an NWC music major from 1997-98.
The Jazz Combo from Buffalo High School was named the outstanding combo of the festival.
Outstanding soloists were Rex Amend of Riverton, and Scott Kitchen and Erik Olson, Powell.
This year, the Northwest Jazz Festival celebrated its 25th anniversary. The festival is supported in part by the Holiday Inn of Cody, and by grants from VSA Arts of Wyoming, the Wyoming Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts.