Interlake jazz band wins big in Reno

Interlake Jazz Band One placed first in the Division 1B Category at the Reno Jazz Festival in April.  - COURTESY PHOTO
Interlake Jazz Band One placed first in the Division 1B Category at the Reno Jazz Festival in April.
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

Interlake High School’s Jazz ensemble won the national title for their high school category at the Reno Jazz Festival, which took place April 25-27.

Directed by David Kim, the band has been attending the festival for the past 10 years, but this year marks the first time they have ever taken the top spot in their category.

In its 51st year, the Reno Jazz Festival brings together the top school bands from around the country to compete; it is considered one of the biggest and best festivals for young musicians in the world. Other high schools from the Seattle area included Roosevelt and Garfield.

As the top band in the Division 1B Category, the 21 members of Interlake’s jazz band also had the opportunity to take part in the Festival Showcase and Awards Ceremony on Sunday evening, where they performed along with the other two top high school division winning bands.

“We got to play on the big stage in front of thousands of people,” said student Zach Sweetser, who plays piano and keyboard. “Truly a night to remember.”

The band played a jazz standard called “I Thought About You” and a funk chart called “Talk is Cheep” as part of the showcase.

Kim said they chose the first piece to perform because they wanted to show everyone in attendance how hard they could swing. He said they chose the funk piece because no one has done that style of piece in the 10 years Interlake has attended.

Students funded their trip to Reno through cookie dough sales, donations, and proceeds from a jazz band compilation they released last spring.

Kim said he is proud of his players and the feat they were able to accomplish and is already thinking about next year.

“This is an award winning band program and expectations are very high,” Kim said “And I don’t expect to lower them.”


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