6 JCJC students participate in the first Intercollegiate Honor Band

|Teresa McCreery, JCJC Director of Media & Public Relations

ELLISVILLE, Miss. - Six Jones County Junior College music students were invited to participate in the first Intercollegiate Honor Band held recently at Hinds Community College. Mikala McLaurin, Northeast Jones on clarinet; Kiyah Hillman, Madison on baritone sax; Scarlett Sandifer, South Jones on flute; Miles Dennis, South Jones on electric guitar; Joseph Welch, South Jones on piano and Dustin Logan, West Jones on bass guitar. They competed with universities and junior/community college students for an opportunity to perform and attend workshops.

“It was a unique experience being a part of the inaugural Intercollegiate Honor Band with some impressive clinicians,” said Scarlett Sandifer.

“Over the weekend we spent many hours in rehearsals. Dr. Cramer always kept us engaged throughout those long rehearsals, which is exactly the type of educator I want to be.”

Only 68-students were selected to participate in the Intercollegiate Honor Band conducted by Professor Ray Cramer, Director Emeritus, of the Indiana University Band program. He is an internationally recognized clinician and conductor and has annual engagements across the United States and Japan, with the Musashino Academia of Music. Professor Cramer served as president of the College Band Directors National Association and has held numerous leadership positions in band organizations worldwide.

“I am so proud of my JCJC students that were selected to participate in this experience. They competed with university students as well as their peers in junior/community colleges. This new organization has the opportunity to impact so many music students and I’m thrilled Jones is a part of it,” said JCJC Director of Bands, Dr. Ben Burge.

Additionally, of the 19-students who were asked to participate in the All-State Junior College Jazz Band held in conjunction with the IHB Band, four students were from JCJC. The All-State Jazz Band was under the leadership of Bart Marantz, who was a Jones County Junior College faculty member in the early 1980's, before his tenure at the Booker T. Washington School for the Performing and Visual Arts. A Fulbright Scholar, performer, clinician and jazz education visionary, Marantz has produced countless professional performers including Norah Jones, Erykah Badu, among others. His students have won numerous recognitions including Down Beat Awards, Grammy Awards, and others. Marantz is an author, teacher, performer, and patron of the performing arts.

“To have the chance to work with someone like Mr. Marantz only comes along once in a lifetime. He pushed all of us to see beyond the music. There was a lot of music to learn in such a short time, but the payoff was well worth it,” said Miles Dennis. “Working with all of the other musicians from other colleges also led to new friendships and we all learned so much from this experience.”

Baritone saxophonist, Kiyah Hillman, shared she also enjoyed being a part of something new and challenging.

“I had a great experience being involved with the Intercollegiate Jazz Band. I was able to learn how to pick up things faster than normal and how to learn on my own. I also enjoyed playing in the band with students from other schools.”

At the conclusion of the weekend of music, JCJC Associate Director of Bands, Lindsey Keay, was elected to the Intercollegiate Board of Directors to assist in the development and planning of future Intercollegiate Honor Band clinics



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