BYMS Jazz Band Takes First Place at Western States Jazz Festival


Bernardo Yorba’s jazz band took first place at Western States Jazz Festival in Upland, California on February 24th and 25th. “ We have a really strong jazz band this year, and we had a really good set of music to play for the competition.  I knew we would do well if we didn’t get too nervous,” stated Mrs. Rita Watson, BMYS jazz band director

The band started the show with a shuffle called “In the Doghouse.”  Next was a saxophone ballad called “Nightshift” which featured 8th grade soloist, Yuzhou Zhang. The next song they performed was “Ain’t Got No Place to Go” which was a swing tune. Finally, the band finished with a song called “Act Your Age”.

The soloists that performed in this competition were Yuzhou Zhang, Wes Sakoda, Nathan Le, Bryan Melendez, Jason Robles, Nathan Stevens, and Eric Berndt.  Each were awarded certificates for  “Outstanding Solo.”

“The judges loved the band.  They said we play with great style, we play in tune, we articulate together, we had great solos, and our selection of songs was very good,” added Watson. The band took first place out of 5 bands in the Middle School Advanced Division. Mrs. Watson also added that the judges gave them helpful and careful critics, “They said we needed to work a little more on dynamic contrast.”

“This is a fantastic band.  We have strong players in every section.  They are only going to get better and better as the year goes along,” commented Mrs. Watson.