By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — Pinkerton Academy hosts this year’s Jazz All-State Festival Feb. 7-9.
The three-day event joins student musicians specializing in jazz music together for workshops, special events and a culmination concert on Feb. 9 at 1 p.m. at the Stockbridge Theatre at Pinkerton Academy.
Hosting more than 100 of the state’s best instrumentalists and singers is no easy task.
But Pinkerton has done it before and has the routine down to a science.
Pinkerton band director Michael Adams and fine arts director Thomas Quigley said students will enjoy three days of rehearsals, making new friends and a concert to end the festival.
The event includes four groups practicing and performing — Jazz Choir, Honors Jazz Choir, Jazz Band and Honors Jazz Band.
Each group will be led by guest conductors brought in from all over the country.
Students auditioned in October to be part of the jazz festival. More than 30 schools from all over the state will be represented, from Berlin to Salem.
“Students were selected based on their audition,” Quigley said, “the top players and the top singers.”
Having the state’s best on campus for three days will give students a chance to learn from some of the best directors.
Those scheduled to lead this year are Jennifer Barnes, director of jazz vocal studies at University of North Texas; Gregory Yasinitsky, director of school of music at Washington State University; Dean Neal, director of music at Maine Central Institute; and Peter Tileston, retired music director at King Philip Regional School District in Massachusetts.
Students will also enjoy workshops offered by prominent musicians from around the state during their time at Pinkerton.
The concert Feb. 9 is open to the public.