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Monday, May 2, 2016

Aurelia Jazz Band takes second place at State Jazz Championships

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A send-off from the youngsters - Members of the Aurelia Jazz Ensemble receive "high fives" and best wishes from Aurelia elementary students at a send-off for the group on April 13. Photo by Dan Whitney
The Aurelia Jazz Band, Class 1A State Champions last year, came close to repeating that feat again at this year's championships, held in Des Moines on Tuesday. When all was said and done, though, Aurelia came up just a bit short, taking Second Place in this year's competition - not too bad.

Aurelia has qualified for the State Jazz Championships for 11 consecutive years.

The band was given a send-off in the school gym on Monday, and a caravan of cars greeted them when they returned to town Wednesday, escorting Director Jason Heeren and his rockin' musicians back to Aurelia and a welcome home celebration in the gym.

Several jazz band members, including many featured soloists, will be graduating from Aurelia High School next month, and Director Heeren, who has led the Band for the last six years of their 11-year-run, will also be leaving, as he has accepted a position as the High School Band Director at Storm Lake High School.

On the plus side, several members of the band will return next year, and there is no reason to believe that Aurelia's strong music program of the past 50 years - always well supported by the school administration, Music Boosters and the entire Aurelia community - will falter.

Congratulations to Jason Heeren and his young music makers. Rock on!

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