Alton HS & SIUe Jazz Concert

April 19, 2022

As the story goes, SIUE Concert Jazz Band director Garrett Schmitt contacted Alton High School Jazz Band director Chris Jarden about a joint concert between the two bands.  Garrett said that he heard nothing for a few weeks and then Chris calls with a date, time and location for the concert.  When Chris contacted Thomas Pullen (MIMAC Board Member and Faith Fellowship Worship Arts Director) about holding the concert at the church, he received an immediate and resounding YES.

MIMAC’s vision of bringing Educational and Performance opportunities in the St Louis area fit right into the concert.

Thomas Pullen

Dan Smithiger was in attendance to explain the MIMAC mission to all who were interested while Tom spent the majority of time behind the sound and light board.

Alton High School Jazz Band under the direction of Chris Jarden opened the show held at Faith Fellowship Church in Alton.  Nearly 25 young musicians masterfully and enthusiastically brought several jazz tunes to life:

  • Buffalo Wings- Jay Chattaway
  • Sugar- Stanley Turrentine Arr. Mark Taylor
  • Donna Lee- Miles Davis/Charlie Parker
  • Hay Burner- Sammy Nestico
  • Tiger of San Pedro- John LaBarbera Arr. Paul Lavender

After a short break, the SIUE Concert Jazz Band took the stage with slightly fewer numbers but no less enthusiasm or skill.  After burning through several jazz charts, Chris Jarden joined the SIUE combo on piano and soloed on a tune he wrote:

  • Lamp is Low – Ernie Wilkins
  • Midnight Bells- Les Hooper
  • Where to Next- Chris Jarden
  • Skyhawk- Fred Sturm
  • A Foggy Day- Al Cohn
  • Village Dance- Tom Kubis

The excitement of the evening will not be forgotten for a long time.  Plans may already be in the works for next year.

Written by Thomas Pullen – MIMAC Board Member