McPherson College Jazz Festival kicks off Thursday

By Chris Swick
November 04, 2015
McPherson College

The sweet sound of jazz will overtake both the campus of McPherson College and the McPherson Opera House starting tomorrow with the McPherson College Jazz Festival.

Professor Kyle Hopkins, McPherson College Director of Bands, says the festival is not strictly a concert, but is also an educational opportunity for the 22 high school bands that will perform on Thursday at the college.

“While the bands are performing on Thursday, they all have a performance slot, they all get worked with by [The Mike Steinel Quintet],” Hopkins said. “Yes, you can say they're mini-concerts, and people can certainly come and enjoy them as such, but they're also an educational time to get adjudicated, get reviewed and work with the clinicians.”

The clinicians include The Mike Steinel Quintet. The quintet is headed up by Mike Steinel, who is an internationally recognized jazz performer and educator originally from Marion.

This is the second year for the festival, which Hopkins says was born when he was looking for something to be of service to the area schools in the fall.

“Fall is football season, and, with football, for the band world, that's marching band,” Hopkins said. “And so jazz bands get put on the back burner, you might say. And so we started this last year and had amazing success with our jazz festival. Had about 17 bands come.”

The Thursday portion of the jazz festival is free and open to the public, as the area school bands will perform between Mingenback Theatre and Brown Auditorium at McPherson College starting at 8 a.m. and going until around 3 p.m.

Friday, the Steinel Quintet will visit area schools to give jazz masterclasses and then perform Friday night at the McPherson Opera House starting at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for The Steinel Quintet performance are $20 and $15 dollars for adults and $5 for students.