Elmhurst College Students Receive Numerous Awards at Jazz Festival

May 8, 2015 | by the Office of Marketing and Communications

Student jazz musicians from Elmhurst College won numerous awards for solo and ensemble performances during the 48th Annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival.

Held in February in Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel, the Jazz Festival hosted university and college jazz bands from across the country. The bands took turns performing for each other and for some of the greatest names in professional jazz, who offered critiques and awarded a variety of honors. This year’s adjudicators included trumpeter Sean Jones, saxophonist Ralph Lalama and percussionist Dennis Mackrel.

Elmhurst College won Outstanding Performance Awards in the Combo, Big Band and Vocal Jazz categories.

Outstanding Soloist Awards in the Combo category went to:

  • Alex Stombres, St. Charles
  • Connor Roe, Arlington Heights
  • Tom Kidera, Algonquin
  • Bill Kidera, Algonquin
  • Tom Zimny, Addison
  • John Rarick, Grayslake

Outstanding Soloist Awards in the Jazz Band category were given to:

  • Kenny Thompson, Deerfield
  • John Rarick, Grayslake
  • Steve Kidera, Algonquin
  • Rob Nordli, Schaumburg
  • Tom Zimny, Addison

Outstanding Soloist Awards also were given to members of the Elmhurst College Lab Band:

  • Alysha McElroy-Hodges, Rock Island
  • Evon Sams, Rockford
  • Zach Taylor, Roscoe

Outstanding Soloist Awards also were given to members of the Elmhurst College vocal jazz group Late Night Blues:

  • Jenna Hesseln, Park Ridge
  • Alysha McElroy-Hodges, Rock Island
  • Petra Wasilkoff, Orland Park
  • Liz Schiavo, Elmhurst

Hailed as one of the Chicago area’s premier music events, the Elmhurst College Jazz Festival is an annual celebration of jazz performance and education. This year’s Festival featured evening performances by college ensembles and headliner performances by Jimmy Heath & the Jimmy Heath Big Band, the Bill Holman Band and a performance by Jones, Lalama and Mackrel with the Elmhurst College Jazz Band.

The next Elmhurst College Jazz Festival is scheduled for February 25-28, 2016.

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