Laguna Beach High School’s jazz ensemble took first place in its category in the Riverside Community College competition on Saturday, May 10.
Altogether, 50 high school and 14 middle school jazz combos and big bands competed in the two-day event.
During hours judged performances, students also participated in master classes with professionals such as Grammy-winning jazz pianist Bill Cunliffe, who took the stage in the final big band performance of the evening.
LBHS Jazz Ensemble performed an unexpected arrangement of Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android.” Director Roger Shew said, “I am a firm believer that by playing off-the-beaten-path tunes we are able to make an impact.”
Laguna’s jazz players also were selected to perform at Disney’s California Adventure on May 30, and on May 22 the group will perform at the Boys and Girls Club at 4 pm.
The entire program’s spring instrumental concert will be held at 7 p.m. June 4 in the Artists’ Theatre!