I have completed my first year as President and am excited about some new things that our Board has planned for our members this year. We are working to put in place a clinic system that you can use online to get help for your groups. You will be able to log in and select your clinician and then have a live session with them listening to and giving help to your students. You will be able to choose a clinician by instrument or by style and they will work with your group to help them achieve the sound and style that you are looking for.
We have already selected clinics and clinicians to present at the 2016 CASMEC in San Jose and we have posted the Etudes for the All-State HS Band and Choir and the Jr. High Band. Because of a few issues with the online upload of auditions, jazz will still be the only groups that are allowed to use the new system. We want to encourage more participation in our All-State vocal jazz ensemble. Kate Reid from the University of Miami will be the conductor and she is one of the most sought after vocal jazz conductors in the world. Conducting our Jr. High Jazz Band will be Justin Padilla from Oak Middle School in Los Alamitos and our High School Jazz Ensemble will be conducted by Steve Roach Director of Jazz Studies at Sacramento State University.
We are also completing our list of finalists for the CAJ Hall of Fame, honoring those jazz educators who have made the most impact in Jazz Education in our state. Finally, we are working to make our State Jazz Championships an even better festival. This year we had the most groups ever entered into the Championships. We are working to streamline the process and improve it to ensure that all groups that enter will get the best experience possible.
It’s a great time to be a member of CAJ. We have a wonderfully talented and hard working Board that works very hard to improve jazz education in our state and provide opportunities to perform jazz on the highest levels. We hope that you will continue as members and also invite your fellow teachers to join us. Go to www.cajazz.org to join or renew your membership.