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JAZZ : College Will Start Playing It Close to the Fest

March 12, 1992|BILL KOHLHAASE | Bill Kohlhaase is a free-lance writer who regularly covers jazz for the The Times Orange County Edition.

Combos, big bands and a jazz choir will sound off Friday in Costa Mesa when 10 Orange County high schools participate in the first of what organizers hope will become an annual event: the Golden West College JazzFest.

In addition to the student performances, the daylong festival includes an evening concert with bassist vocalist Jack Prather's group Bopsicle, featuring vocalist Stephanie Haynes, and Golden West instructor Tom Kubis' big band.

Joining Kubis' band as guest soloist is trumpeter-singer-actor Jack Sheldon, who's seen in Bette Midler's recent film "For the Boys" and heard singing the theme to the ABC series "Homefront." The event, which is open to the public, was organized by Golden West dean of fine arts David Anthony, and music instructors Gerry Schroeder and Kubis.

"With all the music program cutbacks," says Kubis, "there are fewer and fewer places for high school bands to get out and play. (The festival) gives the students a chance to be heard and the opportunity to get some direction from the judges. We're also looking to find out who the hot soloists are so we can single them out and show them what's available as far as advancing their education."

The student performances, which begin at 8 a.m. and run throughout the day, will be judged by Haynes; director of the Cuesta College Jazz Ensemble, Warren Balfour; trombonist Alex Iles, and composer-saxophonist-bandleader Kim Richmond.

Entries have been received in big band, combo, jazz-show-choir and jazz-pop-show solo vocalist categories. Though the different ensembles will be given a numerical ranking, no prizes will be awarded.

"We've tried to take the competitive edge from the festival," says Schroeder. "The idea is to bring the students in, let them hear the other bands and get some constructive criticism. We want to foster an interest in jazz music as something different than concert band music."

The Golden West College jazz combo, directed by Schroeder, will also perform during the day.

What: The Golden West College JazzFest.

When: Friday, March 13. High school and college performances are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and from 1:15 to 5:30 p.m. Bopsicle and the Tom Kubis Big Band appear at 7 p.m.

Where: Mainstage Theatre on the Golden West campus, 15744 Gothard St., Huntington Beach.

Whereabouts: San Diego (405) Freeway to Edinger Avenue. West on Edinger, then right on Gothard Street into the campus.

Wherewithal: High school and college performances are free to the public; tickets to Bopsicle and the Tom Kubis Big Band are $9 in advance, $10 at the door; students and children $8 advance, $9 at the door.

Where to Call: (714) 895-8378.

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