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Kennedy Middle School Jazz Ensemble to Perform at the Michigan Music Conference

The Kennedy Middle School Jazz Ensemble will travel to Grand Rapids to perform at the Michigan Music Conference.

Kennedy Middle School Jazz Ensemble
Kennedy Middle School Jazz Ensemble

The Kennedy Middle School Jazz Ensemble has been selected to perform Jan. 18 at the Michigan Music Conference at DeVos Place in Grand Rapids.

The Conference is an annual conference for Michigan's music educators which features sessions being presented to music teachers to help them hone their skills and performances by students, according to a release.

"I have often heard bands or jazz ensembles throughout the years at this conference," said Chris Kauffold, Director of Bands at Kennedy Middle School in the Lake Shore Public Schools, in a release. "They always give me a much-needed 'shot in the arm' that gets me through the rest of the year and keeps me focused."  

The Kennedy Middle School Jazz Ensemble is the only middle-school level instrumental group performing at the conference, according to the district, and may be the first time a Lake Shore ensemble has been invited to perform. 

"The students have come to realize what a big deal this is, and they've been working hard for their presentation," said Kauffold, who added that among the selections that will be performed includes a piece composed by Detroit trombonist John Paxton he composed by Kauffold.

"John did his student teaching at Kennedy several years ago, and while he was here, I wrote a New Orleans streat-beat piece for him to play on during our concert. When we were looking for a featured soloist for the conference, John seemed to be the perfect fit," added Kauffold.

The Kennedy Middle School Jazz Ensemble performs at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, in Steelcase Ballroom 'D' of DeVos Place in Grand Rapids, Tickets are $10 per person, available at the DeVos box office. The performances are open to the public, but tickets are required.

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