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 Basie 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 Thursday, Nov. 1 at 6 p.m. in the Academy Theatre in MN Conservatory for the Arts’ home, the Valencia Arts Center and on Sunday, November, 18 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.
 
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 www.mnconservatoryforthearts.org, e-mail mca@smumn.edu, or call 453-5500.