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 on Wednesday, Feb. 28 at 6 p.m. at the Figliulo Recital Hall in the Saint Mary’s University Performance Center, and on Wednesday, March 21 at 5:30 p.m. at Wellington’s Pub & Grill, 1429 W. Service Dr.
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. A new session starts each September and January for young musicians interested in joining a combo. MCA also offers private music lessons and variety of music classes.
A list of the combo members includes: the Duke Combo— Isaac Allred, Olivia Becker, Sarah Beguin, Andrew Behling, Hailey Biesanz, Hannah Biesanz, Jake Callahan, Aidan Carlson, Aaron Chernega, Joe Costello, Katelyn Dennis, Max Derbysire, Noah Ehlenfeldt, Anna Florness, Daniel Florness, Alison French, Joella Goyette, Hannah Graff, Viva Graff, Garet Grant, Madeline Kohner, Rachel Lepper, Miranda Lindaman, Adam Martin, Grant Matthees, Alexander Slaggie, Nathaniel Sternber, Courtney Vaughn, Connor Walechka, Nicholas Walechka, Sam Wantock, Will Wisniewski, and Andrew Wooden.
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, visit, e-mail, or call 453-5500.