Are you suffering from cabin fever and longing to hear the glorious melodies of spring? The Maine State Instrumental Jazz Festival will be held this Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16, at Houlton High School. There will be 62 jazz bands and jazz combos with more than 650 student musicians taking the stage to be judged. Everyone is welcome to come support these students from across the state as they compete for bragging rights to 80 numerous awards.
Friday’s performances begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Alumni Gymnasium, Houlton High School auditorium, and the lobby of the Region Two building, with the awards ceremony at 3:45 p.m. After supper, you will want to return for the next round of selections at 5 p.m., with awards presented at 9 p.m.. On Saturday, jazz groups begin playing at 9:30 a.m. in the Alumni Gymnasium and Houlton High School auditorium, and end with the presentation of awards at 5:45 p.m.
Saturday evening will be the final round of the “best of the best” in the auditorium around 7:15 p.m., where each division will be vying for top honors in the state.
The Houlton Music Boosters will be serving up delectable home-cooked meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner throughout both days. Snacks and beverages will also be available, with Houlton Farms Dairy ice cream brownie sundaes that are SURE to be popular. Flowers and t-shirts will be available to purchase, and Margit Studio of Pittsfield will be taking professional group photos.
WHOU will be streaming both days of performances live on whoufm.com if you are unable to join us or have family and friends wanting to tune in around the world. For more information or directions to Houlton High School, please call Joe Fagnant, festival coordinator, at 532-6551 during school hours.
Ticket prices are $3 for students/senior citizens, $5 for adults, and $15 for a family. The public can attend a full day’s worth of performances at a very reasonable price. The Saturday evening finals is a separate ticketed event, with prices remaining at $3, $5, and $15. Grab your mother, father, in-laws, cousins and friends. You do not want to miss this outstanding weekend display of musical talent!