Valley Jazz Orchestra Wins Iowa Jazz Championships

The Valley High School Jazz Orchestra won first place in class 4A at the 2013 Iowa Jazz Championships, the largest and most prestigious jazz competition in the state.

Valley was invited to perform at the Iowa Jazz Championships after placing first at the district level performances. Bands that earn first or second place at districts are automatically invited to perform at the championships.

“We are honored to be selected and I am extremely proud of the students whom who participated,” said director Greg Simmons.

Pieces the jazz orchestra performed included “Sepia Panorama” by Duke Ellington, “Somebody to Watch Over Me” arranged by Robert Washut, “Us” by Thad Jones and “Anthropology” by Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie.

Pictured are the members of the Jazz Orchestra.  Back row, left to right: Assistant Director George McCutchen, Ryan Garmoe, David Duvall, David Nicholson, Keegan Hockett and Director Greg Simmons; third row: Jared Lancaster, Sean Graves, Nick Behrends and Alec Garringer; second row: Todd Johnson, Lauren Johnson, Daniel Marcus, Zane Gedler, Abigail Roach, Stephanie Hansen and Matt Johnson; first row: Robert Bray II and Saketh Undurty.