55th Annual Newberry College Jazz Festival To Be Held March 3

February 20, 2012

NEWBERRY, S.C. – The Newberry College Jazz Festival, the second oldest jazz festival in the nation, will be held Saturday, Mar. 3 in Wiles Chapel on the Newberry College campus. The festival will be held in collaboration with the South Carolina Band Directors Association (SCBDA) and will feature the Newberry College Jazz Big Band, two All-State high school bands, and world-famous jazz saxophone soloist Chris Vadala.
Performances begin at 11:30 a.m. by the All-State Jazz Band under the direction of all-state clinician Ken Edwards. A second All-State Jazz Band takes the stage at 12:15 p.m. under the direction of all-state clinician Dick Goodwin. All-State Bands are composed of outstanding high school musicians from throughout the state who have auditioned for the bands and have been chosen through a process adjudicated by the SCBDA.
The Newberry College Jazz Big Band, under the direction of Bill Long, performs with guest artist and world famous jazz saxophone soloist Chris Vadala at 1:00 p.m. Mr. Vadala is one of America’s foremost woodwind artists and is in high demand as a jazz/classical performer. He is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music and is currently the Director of Jazz Studies, Professor of Saxophone, and Distinguished Scholar-Teacher at the University of Maryland.
Mr. Vadala’s performing career includes many years as a standout woodwind artist with the famous Chuck Mangione Quartet. He has received performing credits on five gold albums and two platinum albums.  He has also been honored with performing credits from two Grammys, an Emmy, a Georgie, and a Golden Globe Award.  He has performed and recorded with the greatest musicians of our day, including Dizzy Gillespie, Quincy Jones, B.B. King, Chick Corea, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, and many others. He is also featured in a new publication, “The History of the Top 40 Sax Solos, 1955-1998.”
The Jazz Festival will also feature middle school and high school bands from around the state. They will perform for ratings throughout the day, beginning at 8:30 a.m. in the Alumni Music Center. 
The Newberry College Jazz Big Band is under the direction of Associate Professor of Music Bill Long.  The South Carolina Band Directors Association representative for this event is Mark Yost from Northwestern High School in Rock Hill, S.C.
Schools represented in the Festival include Spartanburg Day School, Spartanburg Middle School, Camden Middle School, Edgewood Middle School, Crayton Middle School, Sandhills Middle School, Lower Richland High School, Northwestern High School, A.C. Flora High School, Marlboro County High School, Swansea High School, the Swansea High School Combo, Chapin High School, Orangeburg- Wilkinson High School, the Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School Combo, Spartanburg Day School, Upper Westside High School, Lexington High School, the Governor’s School for the Arts and Humanities, West Ashley High School, the Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School Orange, Woodmont High School, Pickens High School, Sumter High School, Charleston School of the Arts, Hilton Head High School, Hartsville High School, Aiken High School, Irmo High School, Newberry High School, Wando High School, Socastee High School, T.L. Hanna High School, Belton- Honea Path High School, and Gilbert High School.
About Newberry College: A private, residential, co-educational, college with a diverse student population, Newberry College offers baccalaureate degrees in 24 majors, 31 minors, and 27 areas of concentration. Founded in 1856 by the Lutheran Church, the college is accredited by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, and the National Association of Schools of Music. The college has a radio and television station, and offers 15 NCAA Division II sports. In the recent 2012 ranking of the Best Colleges in U.S. News & World Report, Newberry College placed in the top tier of regional colleges in the South. For more information, visit

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