Columbia Basin College's jazz choir, FreeForm, dominated the Reno Jazz Festival last month and came home with a first-place win as outstanding college choir.
The choir, directed by CBC music teacher Dave Cazier, competed with two- and four-year colleges and universities from all over the country.
"This was a particularly big challenge in that they were the first college to perform during the two days of competing choirs," said Bill McKay, dean of arts and humanities at CBC. "This required them not only to give a memorable performance but also to set the bar high enough that no other college group could surpass them later on."
Out of a possible 1,000 points per scoring judge, FreeForm earned 900, 925 and 933 scores, he added.
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Judges for the event were Tristan Curliss, the artistic director of the pro vocal group M-Pact, professional musician Kristen Korb and jazz producer/arranger Michelle Weir.
"No only did FreeForm earn the first-place award, but all of the group's soloists received awards for outstanding musicianship, the only vocal group in any classification to do this," McKay said.
The 16-member vocal jazz ensemble, which also includes a 4-person rhythm section, received the largest number of awards to any one vocal group at the Reno festival.
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