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McNally Smith Bands Take Honors at Eau Claire Jazz Festival

McNally Smith College of Music was represented by four groups at the recent 42nd Annual Eau Claire Jazz Festival in Wisconsin. Now in its 42nd year, the festival is one of the Midwest’s premier showcases for jazz, along with being a competition for college and high school groups. McNally Smith ensembles turned in outstanding performances, winning first place in their groupings in both of the college categories. The McNally Smith X-tet, led by Pete Whitman, won the College Big Band category and Creative Ensemble IV, led by Scott Agster, took first place in the College Combo category. Each winning group at the competition also performed at a festival concert.

In addition to McNally Smith’s successful showing in the competition, the school was also represented by faculty members who were featured performers at festival concerts. Randy Sabien, head of McNally Smith’s new String Department, was one of three headliners at the four-day festival. Kevin Washington, a member of McNally Smith’s Percussion Department, was also a featured performer at a festival concert.