October 26th, 2017
Dear parents and students,
I want to express my gratitude and excitement for my new role as artistic director for Spokane All-City Jazz ensembles. Over the last few years, it has been my privilege to work for such a unique and wonderful organization. The students in my north side groups have been enjoyable to teach and this past summer season was equally great meeting and working with other students in the region. I also want to thank Brian McCann for his sacrificial commitment to SAJE over the last half decade and his help with the leadership transition process.
Music education in America is as volatile as ever before. Culture, budget, and technology are just a few of the many contributing factors. Despite these obstacles, I remain optimistic about the power of art, the future of Jazz, and the next generation to which it will be entrusted. My confidence in SAJE specifically is unwavering and know we will continue to be an educational beacon for the greater inland northwest jazz scene.
The other coach new to our staff is Kyle Moreen. He is a Coeur d’Alene native and a recent graduate of the University of Miami - one of the most prestigious jazz schools in the nation. Kyle will be directing all groups meeting at Gonzaga. We both agree that if an organization like SAJE had been around in our own experiences as budding jazz musicians our development would have been that much more enriched and fostered. Thus, we are thrilled you have made the decision to join us!
Although I may not get a chance to speak with each one of you face-to-face, rest assured the act of mentoring is just as rewarding as the joy of educating young people. This will be our focus and hope it will be very evident through rehearsals and performances. It is going to be a great year!