The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts (MCA) Jazz Combos are busy rehearsing for two upcoming community concerts that are free and open to the public.

MCA is home to three jazz combos: the Duke, Dizzy and Miles Combos. These combos are comprised of students ages 11-17 from the Winona area. The public is invited to hear these talented young musicians at Figliulo Recital Hall, in the Saint Mary’s University Performance Center, at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 2, and at Wellington’s Pub & Grill, 1429 W Service Dr, Winona, MN, 5:30p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16.

The jazz combo program, which began in September 2012 under the direction of Dave Gudmastad, has grown quickly. Each jazz combo rehearses for one hour each week beginning in September and continuing through March. The combos help students learn the art of jazz in a small ensemble setting. The rehearsal sessions provide basic instruction in jazz-related rhythm, tone, style, concept, listening skills, and improvisation. Performances throughout the community provide performance experience to the musicians and free entertainment open to the public. A new session starts in January for young musicians interested in joining a combo. MCA also offers private music lessons and guitar classes.

A list of the combo members follows. The Duke Combo: Haylee Cada, Anna Florness, Daniel Florness, Allison French, Hannah Graff, Emma Lee, Jack Liedel, Alyssa Williams, Aubrew Williams, and Will Wisniewski Dizzy Combo: Hannah Biesanz, Carter Briggs, Aidan Carlson, Ceili DeMarais, Katelyn Dennis, Joella Goyette, Viva Graff, Sam King, Marissa Lindaman, Claire Nichols, Armon Parsi, Zachary Schmit, Reyna Seelhoff, Nicholas Walechka, Sam Wantock, and Austin Weatherhead. Miles Combo: Andrew Behling, Joe Wantock, Jake Callahan, Nathan Hagerott, Gabriel Tullis, Timothy Welch, Garet Grant, Noah French, Jacob French, David French, Stphen Shaw, Connor Walechka, Noah Ehlenfeldt, Sam Yong, Austing Weatherhead, Courtney Vaughn, and Max Derbyshire.

MCA Music Division programs are made possible by the Hiawatha Education Foundation, and by the voters of Minnesota through a Minnesota State Arts Board Operating Support grant, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund. The Minnesota Conservatory for the Arts is an affiliate program of Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota. For more information, MCA online, e-mail mca@smumn.edu, or call 453-5500.