The Ames High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Andrew Buttermore, participated in class 4A at the 43rd Annual Iowa Jazz Championships on Thursday, April 5th, 2018 in Ames, IA for the first time in school history!
Longtime Ames High Band Director Home Gartz (1962-2003), confirmed that no jazz band participated in any competitions under his tenure. “They were called ‘dance bands’ and ‘stage bands’ in the early years. It is quite an accomplishment to achieve this award.
The Iowa Jazz Championships are considered to be a unique event nationally due to the format and caliber of performances. The annual state championship event invites the top 15 jazz ensembles for each class 1A-4A (60 bands total), bringing together many of Iowa’s finest young jazz musicians to compete in one of the largest one day festivals in the nation. Jazz Bands qualify for the Iowa Jazz Championships through district and independent qualifying festivals. Each jazz ensemble performs a twenty-minute set before a panel of three judges during the morning and afternoon competition. The top two performing jazz bands from each class then compete that evening in Stephens Auditorium for the Iowa Jazz Championship state titles. Ames High scored outside the top 8 in their first appearance in the Jazz Band Championships.
Musco Lighting from Oskaloosa, Iowa sponsored the event in cooperation with Iowa Jazz Championships, Inc., Jazz Educators of Iowa, and the Iowa Music Educators Association.