Music in Our Schools Month: Queen Creek High School’s Success at the ABODA Area Jazz and Concert Band Festival

Jazz band group photo outside in front of a bus

Queen Creek High School’s (QCHS) bands, under the direction of Tucker Rother with assistant director Chris Ross, all achieved top-notch ratings at the ABODA area Jazz and Concert Band Festivals. QCHS had several bands able to perform: Purple Jazz Band, Gold Jazz Band, Wind Ensemble, and Symphonic Band.

  • Wind Ensemble received a rating of Superior with Distinction.
  • Symphonic Band received a rating of Excellent.
  • Gold Jazz Band received a rating of Superior with Distinction.
  • Purple Jazz band received a rating of Excellent.

In addition, at the Highland/ASU Jazz Festival:

  • Jazz Gold received a rating of Superior with Distinction.
  • Jazz Purple received a rating of Excellent.

Earning these high ratings is no light feat, as it requires hours of practice and dedication from both the students and the band directors.

Both the ABODA Jazz and Concert Band Festivals are adjudicated events, meaning the festivals were a judged competition. Students first perform three pieces for a panel of professional and collegiate musicians and professors, who then give a rating and a clinic, or area of improvement.

This competition was not only about showcasing each band’s talents but also about learning and taking in points of improvement. Rother, QCHS’s band director, stated, “They have been working really, really hard to achieve this rating, and I'm very proud of them.”

To help earn their high ratings, each band's preparation for the competition included long hours of practice during and after school. The countless hours of rehearsal paid off, as the Purple and Gold Jazz bands will be heading off to the ABODA State Jazz Festival on April 18, and both Concert Bands have their State performance on April 27.

What's most gratifying for Rother is witnessing the growth of the students. He points out the “talent and work ethic of these students.” This is Rother’s first year with the district, and he has been completely blown away by the students and the support he gets from the performing arts team and administration.

Rother is grateful for the opportunity to “work with these great students every day.” Cultivating good students comes first, followed by excellence.

As QCHS Jazz and Concert bands make preparations for the state competition on April 18, their number one focus is to take the judges feedback from the ABODA area festival and use it to improve. Tucker and the students have exemplified excellence through their dedication and teamwork to earn these achievements, and Queen Creek Unified School District (QCUSD) wishes them the best of luck at the ABODA State Jazz and Concert Band Festival.

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