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Jazz Arts Group of Columbus to feature over 60 students in Columbus Youth Jazz concert
(Published: December 12, 2013)

Columbus, OH - The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) presents the final Youth Jazz concerts of 2013 featuring over 60 students in four ensembles! Showcasing the musical talents of its Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra, Columbus Youth Jazz Studio Ensemble, Columbus Youth Jazz Workshop and Columbus Youth Jazz Combo, JAG will feature these four ensembles free of charge on Sunday, December 15 at 4:00 p.m. in the Fort Hayes High School Performing Arts Building.

Under the direction of Mark Donavan, the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO) provides opportunities for talented high school age musicians to further their experience in America's classical music - jazz. Comprised of premier players in grades 9-12 from central Ohio and beyond, the CYJO has a 30-week season during the school year, and performs at the Southern Theatre prior to each of the Columbus Jazz Orchestra's Sunday matinee concerts. The CYJO plays literature of the highest level with repertoire from the libraries of the great big bands, including Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Oliver Nelson, Benny Goodman and Dizzy Gillespie.

Also under the direction of Mark Donavan, the Columbus Youth Jazz Studio Ensemble (CYJSE) will take to the stage as well, to bring jazz music to your ears. This top-level ensemble features students who chose to continue improving their individual skills and talents in music. An exciting ensemble, the CYJSE emphasizes a broad exploration of jazz literature.

Mark Donavan's broad classroom teaching background and extensive performance resume creates an environment that brings the best out of the young musicians he works with. He has launched two central Ohio youth jazz bands: the Columbus Youth Jazz Workshop and the Columbus City Schools Jazz All-Stars. Both groups have brought together students from a variety of backgrounds and have inspired young people to study music in college and to play professionally. Donavan performs in the central Ohio area as a saxophonist and pianist and has appeared on stage with many regional and national acts. His professional writing credits include the Columbus City School district's music curriculum and a jazz survey course for online learning. Mark is currently the instrumental music director at Fort Hayes Arts and Academic High School, where he serves as the Arts Department Chairperson.

Under the direction of Ryan Hamilton, the Columbus Youth Jazz Workshop (CYJW) is a big band experience for students in middle through high school. Bringing together students from a variety of backgrounds and skill levels, the CYJW creates a fun and motivational introductory experience for music students in Columbus. Students in the workshop are given the opportunity to concentrate on exploring jazz styles, standard repertoire, and beginning improvisation in an ensemble environment.

Ryan Hamilton is a versatile trombonist and educator. His training began in fourth grade in Liverpool, New York and continued through high school in Columbus under the tutelage of Kie Watkins and Vaughn Wiester. He was a proud member of the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra during his senior year of high school. While undergoing his collegiate studies, he joined the Glenn Miller Orchestra, playing trombone and singing in the vocal group, The Moonlight Serenaders. Upon finishing a two-year world tour he completed his degree at Capital University where he currently teaches in the jazz studies program. Ryan has been a member of Columbus Jazz Orchestra since 2011.

All Youth Jazz ensembles are open to students playing saxophone, trumpet, trombone, piano, bass, guitar, and drums. Each ensemble rehearses weekly and offers a variety of performances and other educational activities each season.

The Jazz Arts Group supports music education in the schools and cooperates with the music education community - all Youth Jazz members are expected to be actively participating in their school music program(s). JAG's Youth Jazz Program, celebrating its 23rd year, receives support from the Ohio Arts Council, The Columbus Foundation and the Greater Columbus Arts Council.

Additional information can be found at www.jazzartsgroup.org or by calling 614-294-5200 x 107.

About the Jazz Arts Group:

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) is America's oldest not-for-profit arts organization dedicated to producing, performing and promoting jazz. JAG is the third largest performing arts organization in Columbus and consists of four focus areas: the Columbus Jazz Orchestra (CJO), one of the world's finest professional jazz orchestras; the Jazz Academy, JAG's extensive instructional programs educating both students and adults about jazz and American music; Inside Track, a jazz and blues performance series produced at the historic Lincoln Theatre; and Affiliate Musicians, a program providing employment opportunities for professional musicians.

More Information: http://www.jazzartsgroup.org

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