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The student news source of Iowa City West High

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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Eleanor Weitz 24
Eleanor Weitz
Managing Editor

(she/her) Eleanor is a senior and this is her third year on staff. This year, she's the managing editor for the online newspaper. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hanging out with friends and going...

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Update on West’s jazz competitions

With the end of February nearing, West’s jazz season is winding down. Here’s a look at how well they’ve performed.
Ryan+Middleton+directing+Wests+Jazz+Collective+at+the+Coe+College+Jazz+Festival.+
Joe Corlette
Ryan Middleton directing West’s Jazz Collective at the Coe College Jazz Festival.

With winter sports competitions winding down, it’s time to shift focus to the arts competitions at West. During the month of February, West High’s Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Collective performed in three competitions across the state. The first competition was at South East Polk High School on Feb. 10, where West’s Jazz Ensemble placed second in the top band category, and West’s Jazz Collective placed first in the second band category.

Regarding the South East Polk event, Oliver Miller ‘25, the drummer for Jazz Ensemble, said, “Overall, I think it was a great experience. I felt really good about what I played. Everything just felt really smooth.”

Next was the Liberty High School Jazz Festival on Feb. 16, where West’s Jazz Collective placed second in the second band category, and West’s Jazz Ensemble did not place. Jazz Collective’s Derick Doresca received the Best Soloist award for the second band category. 

Emre Orhon ’25, the Bass Trombone player for West’s Jazz Ensemble, said, “Overall, I think we did pretty well. I feel like I definitely could’ve put in more effort…more prior effort.” When asked about his opinion on the other bands who were at the Liberty event, Orhon responded, “I feel like they were very, very good. I feel like a lot of them put in a lot of effort.” When asked about the band that placed first in the top band category at the event, Linn-Mar, Orhon said, “I feel like their jazz band is very selective. I quite like their pieces, though. I feel like they definitely pulled off [their pieces] because they…have the type of people that they need to make that music sound good. I just feel that their music wasn’t as entertaining as our music was.”

Finally, on Feb. 23, West’s bands performed at the Coe College Jazz Festival. Neither of West’s bands placed. 

Brian Zeglis, the director of West’s Jazz Ensemble, said, “Jazz Ensemble had a great set, a lot of the things we did came across. A lot of dynamic nuance and contrast and just control that really, really took shape this week, so I’m really happy with our progress.” 

West’s jazz bands will also have performances on Feb. 27 in West High’s Arganbright Auditorium and March 5 at the Voxman Music Building at the University of Iowa.

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