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Featured Blog: McNally Smith College of Music Hits a Fine Note with ‘Winter Jazz Blast’

After 5 years the Roseville Visitors Association bids adieu to the Roseville Winter Jazz Blast

McNally Smith College of Music in St.Paul hosted the annual ‘Winter Jazz Blast’ on Saturday, Jan.12, 2013.

The festival during the day was attended by 18 middle and high school bands which were each up onstage performing three songs performed before professional adjudicators and concluded with an evening concert featuring the outstanding high school band of the day, McNally Smooth X-tet group, McNally Smith Fusin Ensemble and JazzMN Orchestra.

The top three students, voted on by the adjudicators, were also invited on stage to play with JazzMN during one song and all three had their own solo part. One of those students was from the Roseville Jazz Ensemble, Jackson Potter, on guitar.

According to their website:

McNally Smith College of Music is committed to being a premier institution of higher learning for the musical arts and internationally recognized as such by students, educators, and music professionals.

McNally Smith College of Music recognizes that music is a dynamic art form that reflects the intense cultural currents of globalization and technological advancements. We create new approaches to music teaching and learning and integrate them with traditional practices in a contemporary context to inspire, to broaden, and to connect the musical passions of our students to a rapidly evolving world.

McNally Smith College of Music provides a comprehensive curriculum of liberal arts integrated with musical arts to provide a powerful foundation of knowledge, critical thinking, and professionalism that inspires students to realize and sustain a life in music. Our faculty are experienced educators and multifaceted practicing artists who provide highly personalized instruction in technologically advanced facilities. Most of McNally Smith’s faculty members are actively engaged in aspects of the music industry, including as musicians, songwriters, and industry executives. A number of faculty have credits that include gold and platinum records and Grammy awards. Their careers include performances ranging from Broadway to major arena stages.

Pretty prestigious music college wouldn’t you say? You probably are also wondering why I am writing so extensively about it.

Well, the Winter Jazz Blast is actually the ‘6th Annual’ as noted in their 2013 program along with the fact that McNally Smith is pleased to be the new home, continuing a fine tradition from its beginnings with the Roseville Visitors Association and Doug Snapp of JazzMN Orchestra.

The Roseville Visitors Association is very proud to know we created a festival over the past 5 years with Doug, Jerry Swanberg and the staff at Maranatha Hall on the campus of Northwestern College that was recreated almost to the T this year by McNally Smith.

As the years go by I am sure they will put their own spin on it the way we did by continually evolving it but it was an outstanding event when we passed the baton and 95% of the groups that started out with us attending the event this year.  

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