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McNally Smith Student Ensembles Win Big in Eau Claire


Please join me in congratulating our Jazz I, Creative I, and Fusion ensembles for their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placement at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Festival Big Band and Combo Competition this past weekend.

As part of coming in 1st in their placement, the Jazz I ensemble, led by Chris Olson, was featured in the evening’s special concert event. This concert featured the Shell Lake Arts Center Faculty All-Stars (that included our very own Chris Olson), the UW-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I, the 1st place College Big Band winner, and featured Guest Artists Kevin Mahogany and Benny Green. The concert was attended by over 700+ high school, college students, and guest educators from some of the top institutions in the Mid-West.

Once again, a BIG congratulations to our gifted and talented McNally Smith
Ensemble students.

Michael Pilhofer
Department Head, Ensembles

Jazz I / Chris Olson-Director
Nathan Karasch – Drums, Darren King – Bass, Ricky Lovestrand – Piano, Will Merkl – Alto Sax, Cory Wong – Guitar

Creative I / Bobby Stanton, Director
Zeb Cruikshank – Guitar, Darrin King – Bass, Dan Musselman – Keys, Zach Schmidt – Drums

Fusion / Dave Jensen-Director
Jay Augspurger – Drums, Max Corcoran – Tenor Sax, Zeb Cruikshank – Guitar, David Hirsch – Alto & Tenor Sax, Angie Ista – Alto & Bari Sax, Tim Kloster – Trumpet, Garrett Manley – Guitar, Dan Musselman – Keys/Piano, Patricio Toledo – Bass