DUE Thursday, November 2, 2023

     The State College Area High School Jazz Bands I & II - Admission is by audition to any band member grades 9-12.  Auditions consist of knowledge of prepared excerpts.  Improvisation is strongly encouraged by all students. However, it is required for consideration in Jazz 1.
    Bands have one after-school rehearsal each week beginning in November.  Jazz 1 may occasionally have a second rehearsal scheduled depending on an upcoming performance, especially in the months of November, December, and January.

    The State College Area High School Jazz Band is among the finest in the United States, with an international reputation for excellence. They have received 45 consecutive years of "Superior" ratings in festivals and competitions and made their third appearance at the PMEA State Conference in 2006.   In 1992, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2023 the band toured Europe at international Jazz Festivals.  The band has performed at the North Sea Jazz Festival in the Netherlands, at Disneyland Paris, the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy, at Jazz a Vienne and Jazz a Juan in France, and at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland.

    In 1998,1999, 2006, and 2009 the band performed at Lincoln Center in New York City as finalists in the prestigious Essentially Ellington Competition. The 2001, 2005, and 2008 band won the North American Music Festivals "Megafest" championship, given to the highest-scoring Jazz Ensemble from among their 20 festivals. The 2004 and 2009 Jazz Bands were named the "Most Outstanding Band" at the Mansfield University Jazz Festival.  

    The 2013 Jazz Band had the pleasure of working with Victor Goines through the Essentially Ellington Workshop series.  In 2019, the band was named "Outstanding Band" at the Worldstrides Music Festival in Toronto, Canada.  In 2022, the band appeared at the Essentially Ellington Regional Festival at Temple University, where the saxophone section was awarded the "Most Outstanding" section. 
    You can hear the band perform at the school district's annual All-Jazz Bands Jazz Night concert, the Penn State Jazz Festival, State College's First Night celebrations on New Year's Eve, and on Memorial Day at Boalsburg's "Day In Towne" festivities.

    Mr. Leskowicz - Director of Jazz 1  

    Mr. Robinson - Director of Jazz 2


    Full Band Rehearsals are once per week.  During Nov., Dec., and Jan., Jazz 1 will have rehearsals twice per week.

    TBD - 42nd State College Jazz Festival

    TBD - State College District-wide JAZZ NIGHT featuring jazz bands from the middle and high schools







    2023 Europe Jazz Band Tour Proposal


    SCAHS JAZZ 2018   SC JAZZ - Juan les Pins, France
    SCAHS JAZZ, Toronto 2016

    Listen to excerpts from our Essentially Ellington 2009 CD
      Moon Over Cuba
    Speaker Isfahan
     Speaker Symphony In Riffs


    SCAHS Jazz, France 2015   Noah Bollman soloist, France 2015    

     Jazz 1 - with Victor Goines  Jazz 2 - with Victor Goines
     Jazz 1 with Paul Leskowicz and Victor Goines - JALC Workshop, NYC Jazz Too with Rick Hirsch and Victor Goines - JALC Workshop, NYC
    Dizzy Clinic 1 Dizzy Clinic 2
    Members of the Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band work with jazz students The Dizzy Gillespie All Star Band plays for SC Jazz students
    The 2009 Jazz Band before their Essentially Ellington Performance
    Performing for Boalsburg's "Day in Towne"
    Montreux Umbria
    The 2009 Jazz Band at the Montreux Jazz Festival Performance at the 2009 Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy
    Wycliffe Swing Central
    Wycliffe Gordon clinic The 2010 Jazz Band at Swing Central in Savannah


    Photos by Annemarie Mountz



    2011 Louis Armstrong Award Recipient

    Suzie Shoffner

    Louis Armstrong Award Winners 1994-2011




    Billy Test solos on "Kinda Dukish"
    Photos by Annemarie Mountz
    Pep Section featured at the PSU Jazz Festival

    State High Jazz Band performing at 2007 First Night State College

    State High Jazz Band performs at the Essentially Ellington Festival in New York City
    The State High Jazz Band performed as one of 15 finalists in the 11th Annual Essentially Ellington Competition,
    considered by many as the most prestigious Jazz Band competition in the United States.
    The event was held May 18-20 at the new Frederick P. Rose Hall in New York City.  
    Saxophonist Greg Johnson and vocalist Sarah Shafer won outstanding solo awards for their performances.
    Jam Session
    Bryan Gillespie solos at Essentially Ellington Jam Session on Thursday night.

    Jazz Band performs at the 2006 PMEA State Conference in Valley Forge!
    Chris Vadalla
    Chris Vadalla solos with the State High Jazz Band at the 2006 PMEA Conference
    Click here for pictures from the 2006 Summer European Tour.


    State College Area High School Jazz Band
    performing at the 30th Annual SCAHS Jazz Festival
    Jazz Fest 06
    Photo by Annemarie Mountz

    State High Jazz Band sweeps all awards at the 2006 New York Festivals of Music!
    Superior Rating
    First Place
    Overall Best Award
    Best Section - Saxophones
    Best Soloist - Greg Johnson

    Marcus Roberts Trio Masterclass with the State High Jazz Band
    Marcus Roberts, Roland Guerin, and Jason Marsalis play along with the State High Jazz Band at a master class held on April 6th.

    Photos by Katie Salvaggio



    Wynton Marsalis and Retired Band Director, Richard Victor

     Wynton Marsalis and Paul Leskowicz
    Wynton Marsalis and Band Director, Paul Leskowicz

Last Modified on October 22, 2023