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The Grant County High School Jazz Ensemble:  Featured Performers at the 2016 KMEA State Conference!

The Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA) has a long-standing tradition of fostering excellence in music education for Kentucky’s students.  It is KMEA who sanctions and establishes guidelines for band and choir assessment festivals at regional and state levels, solo and ensemble assessment events for individual and small group performers, select and honors music programs, all-state band and choir programs, and Kentucky’s Marching Band phenomenon.    At the hub of all this activity is KMEA’s annual conference which is held in February each year. 

The KMEA State Conference is a 4-day professional development event for music educators and a showcase extravaganza for music students.  Each year outstanding individual music students are invited to audition for all-state bands and choirs which meet, practice, and perform at the annual conference under the direction of renowned guest conductors.  Also selected by audition are a limited number of ensembles (just 28 state-wide, from elementary – college) who are invited for “featured performances” during the conference. 

This year, we are very excited that the Grant County High School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. Andrew McGrannahan, was selected for one of the coveted “featured performance events”!  This is a unique and very prestigious honor for the Grant County music program.  Grant County’s Jazz Ensemble, comprised of 19 high school students, utilizes the already award-winning musicians (having won the AAAA State Marching Band Competition this fall) and challenges them even further.  Dr. Ron Livingood, former music educator and current Superintendent of Grant County Schools touts the individual and collective musicianship of this group of students.  He states, “Their performances consistently demonstrate a knowledge of improvisation and a work ethic that is well beyond their young ages.  The KMEA attendees are in for a treat!”    The Jazz Ensemble will perform on Thursday, February 4, 2016, at 4:25 pm.

Members of the GCHS Jazz Ensemble are:

Nathan Witte, alto sax

Chris Collopy, trumpet

Josh Caldwell, trombone

Cat Haggard, alto sax

Kenzie Evans, trumpet

Rachel Hornsby, trombone

Marcie Walker, tenor sax

Colton Beach, trumpet

Jordan Newman, trombone

Bri Boulware, tenor sax

Alan Simpson, trumpet

Josh Blackburn, bass trombone

Dylan Tutorow, bari sax

Connor Morgan, trumpet

Caleb Caldwell, drums

Jaclyn Fitzgerald, bass

Ally Michels, trumpet

Wyatt Newman, guitar

Anderson Schimpff, piano




Also performing this year in the All-State High School Chorus will be three of our senior choir students:


Sam Carey-Fulton (Tenor)  Annelise Kinsey (Alto) Nathan Witte (Bass)


This marks the 7th all-state performance for Miss Kinsey, the 2nd for Mr. Carey-Fulton, and the 1st for Mr. Witte, a first-year chorus student at GCHS.  These students will join their voices with those of other outstanding vocalists from throughout the state to study and perform challenging works for rather discerning audiences.

Present at all of the events will be music professors from colleges and universities throughout the state who are looking to tap into the talent pool garnered by KMEA, and will then work to attract these young musicians to their respective programs upon graduation from high school. 

Our talented high school students are the products of diligent and dedicated music educators throughout our district.  Our music educators are:  Mr. Jonathan Creech, CMZ; Mrs. Elsa Blake, DRE; Miss Caitlin Pillow, MCE; Mr. Stephen Parker, SES; Ms. Jessica Proffitt, Chorus-GCMS; Mr. Andrew McGrannahan II, Band-GCMS; Mrs. Faith Clifton, Chorus-GCHS; and Dr. Timothy Dailey, Director of Bands-GCHS.

We are most excited to showcase the Grant County music program at this most highly regarded event!

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