After auditioning, Ryan Wixen ’19 performed in the honor bands ofthe California All-State jazz band (CBDA) and the Southern California School Band and Orchestra Association (SCSBOA).
Both the CBDA and the SCSBOA are organizations for music educators, and the honor bands, which are composed of student musicians from different schools, get the opportunity to perform at their annual conferences.
This was Wixen’s fourth time performing in the SCSBOA honor band and his third time performing in the CBDA honor band.
“Each time is an incredible experience of playing music with passionate and talented peers,” Wixen said. “In each group, the musicians from great bonds with each other. In fact, I already knew a lot of kids in the groups from previous experiences, and it was great to share this with them. It is very inspiring to be in a band with such incredible musicians. I got to improvise a solo with both groups, and it is so much fun to play with them and hear them solo, as well.”
The SCSBOA conference show took place on Jan. 25 and 26 and David Caffey, the Director of the School of Music and Professor of Music at the University of Northern Colorado, directed it. The CBDA conference performance happened occurred on Feb. 13 to Feb.15 and was directed by Rob Tapper, Professor of Trombone & Director of Jazz Studies from the University of Montana.
Wixen said that performing jazz is a way for him to express himself.
“I like jazz because of its culture of appreciating every unique voice,” Wixen said. “Jazz musicians always form strong friendships that arise from the joy and trust that comes with playing together. Jazz combines the highest manifestations of emotion and intellect. I love the art form for its value of expression, improvisation, and interaction.”