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West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

The student news source of Iowa City West High

West Side Story

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Tyler Shane 26
Tyler Shane
FOJ Intern

Tyler is a sophomore at West. He is an intern and this is his first year on staff. If not at practice, he's probably at home sleeping.

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Jazz Ensemble travels to Cedar Rapids for Corridor Jazz Project

On Jan. 22, West High’s top jazz band had a professional recording session with KCCK 88.3 for the Corridor Jazz Project. They’ll perform for the project again in a concert on March 5 at the Voxman Music Building.
Rich+Medd+was+featured+during+the+Jazz+Ensembles+Corridor+Jazz+recording.+Photos+courtesy+of+Rubicon+Photography.
Joe Corlette
Rich Medd was featured during the Jazz Ensemble’s Corridor Jazz recording. Photos courtesy of Rubicon Photography.

After the Jazz Cafe and before heading into jazz competition season, on Jan. 22, West High’s Jazz Ensemble traveled to Cedar Rapids to professionally record a song from their set. Later, it’ll air on KCCK 88.3, the only jazz radio station in Iowa, for their Corridor Jazz Project

The project is in its 17th year, tracing back to 2008. Every year, high school jazz bands from eastern Iowa come to the Orchestra Iowa’s Opus Concert Café in Cedar Rapids to play with a guest artist and record their music.

The group played Beautiful Love, arranged by Paul McKee, with guest artist Rich Medd, former West High band director. While he made the switch from director to guest, Jazz Ensemble director Brian Zeglis did the opposite. 

“For me, it was a really nice, neat experience to be on the other end of it. I’ve been an artist before, both with West High and with Cedar Rapids Jefferson. But this is my first time being in the director’s position. So it was a new experience, and definitely one that I see the value of…” said Zeglis. 

It was very important for me. Ten years ago this year, Rich asked me to be the drumset guest artist with the West High bands. So when I got the [director] job last year, the first call I knew I was making was [to] Rich. I said, ‘Hey, I want you to be our guest artist this year for Corridor,’ and he said ‘That means a lot.’

— Brian Zeglis

Despite no longer being a director, Medd is still a talented musician and educator who was able to work with the students to help them improve. 

“Rich was talking about how to play more aggressively on the piano and that really helped with articulation and accents and stuff—just getting more, almost soul. What I think helped was seeing the direct results from playing that way, right after. So in that way, it helped me,” said pianist Sean Kearney ‘26.

Medd’s return was also sentimental for the band. Trumpet player Ian Kraske ’25 said, “Rich [was] such a crucial part in our band program for such a long time. Seeing him again [was] a lot of fun. I do miss him.”

Concerts featuring all of the jazz bands involved in the project will be on March 4 and 5 at the Paramount Theatre and Voxman Hall of Music Concert Hall, respectively. The West High Jazz Ensemble will play at Voxman on March 5 at 6:30 pm, along with other nearby bands such as the City and Liberty Jazz Ensembles, as well as farther ones, like the Mt. Vernon Swinton’ Stangs and the Marion High School Jazz Band One. 

A CD with all the recordings will also be available and given to each school to sell, as well as local retailers. It will air on KCCK occasionally, but especially during Jazz Appreciation Month in April.

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About the Contributor
Anna Greenlee
Anna Greenlee, Graphics Editor
Anna is a sophomore in her first year on staff. She's the graphics editor for the WSS website, as well as part of the school's band, theatre and sophomore volleyball team. But on her off time, she likes to watch movies (which make her cry really easily), cook, bake, paint and go water- or snow-skiing with family.
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