Welcome to the Jammies

Spotlighting the Musicians of Tomorrow

Jeff vonKaenel, President & CEO of the News & Review

Jeff vonKaenel, President & CEO of the News & Review

Photo By Jill Wagner

When Woodland High School soprano Claire Plumb walked on stage of the Mondavi Center to open last year’s JAMMIES, her uncertainty filled the stage. But the rousing applause that greeted her rendition of “The Willow Song” from Douglas Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe lit up Claire’s face, further inspiring her performance and the enthusiastic audience response.

For some of the JAMMIES high school musicians, that first moment was the beginning of what Angelo Moreno, conductor of the Davis High School Symphonic Orchestra, called “the highlight of their musical careers.” To be recognized on the world-class stage of the Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts was a sweet reward for years of discipline and practice.

For other young musicians, it was just the beginning of greater success. Beatboxer Leejay Abucayan won an international competition in Austria in July, and was the focus of an Arts Feature in the News & Review. 8 Brown Eyes played at Governor Schwarzenegger’s victory party at the Grand Ballroom in Sacramento. GOOSER was “Artist of the Month” in October on 98 Rock Local Licks and played at the Warped Tour in August. Mixed Signals has been featured on KWOD 106.5 Sound of Sacramento and received airplay on 98 Rock Local Licks. These are just some of the successes these musicians have since enjoyed.

The JAMMIES were established to encourage and support the young musicians, feeder music education programs, and music services that are imperative to a vibrant, exciting live music scene in Sacramento. As young musicians are provided with a stage and spotlight in which to shine, they rise to the occasion, practicing harder, rehearsing more, and seeking out opportunities to improve their musicianship.

The effect is the development of all aspects of a healthy youth music scene. Performers for this year’s JAMMIES Contemporary Night, featuring a wide variety of contemporary music genres, first played in the JAMMIES Battle of the Bands: The Road to the Crest. The top 30 contenders from the JAMMIES submissions competed in six shows throughout the Sacramento area, giving audiences an opportunity to see great live music while also developing a fan base for each of the groups and performers.

As these young musicians develop a following through such events, all-age youth clubs will book them to play. Youth bands with “gigs” to play and audiences to impress will develop their musicianship further through increased lessons and practice. Music teachers, music stores, and all-age youth clubs will benefit from the increased activity, allowing them to reciprocate in supporting the young musicians.

Continuing this commitment to young musicians, the Sacramento News & Review, in conjunction with the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts and the Sacramento Arts & Business Council, is proud to present the second annual JAMMIES, a two-night benefit concert showcasing the Sacramento area’s best high school musicians and raising funds for music education programs in area high schools.

The JAMMIES program celebrates both individual and group performances in a wide assortment of musical genres. The February 15th Classical Evening features classical music that includes symphonic band, orchestral, choral and solo performances. The February 28th Contemporary Night at the Crest Theater highlights the area’s best punk, pop, ska, hard rock, folk, and hip hop music. Twenty-five percent of all JAMMIES sponsorships will go to the high school music education programs responsible for the performances at the JAMMIES Classical Evening. Performers at the JAMMIES Contemporary Night will receive donated music goods and services.

In recognition of the enormous contribution made by our music educators, we are also presenting the Award for Outstanding Contributions to High School Music Education. Davis High School music educator Fredrick Lange is being honored at the February 15th concert with a VIP reception and the presentation of this award (see page 15). Mr. Lange’s career is a testament to the essential role played by music educators, who guide and inspire young musicians as they discover their calling.

By providing a stage and a spotlight to recognize the considerable gifts and accomplishments of these young musicians, we hope to provide the critical support these musicians need, while raising awareness of the funding crises faced by the music education programs upon which these students rely.