These are tough times for Dixieland jazz clubs nationwide as they face dwindling membership and declining attendance at jazz festivals. This plight has definitely affected Sierra Traditional Jazz Club of Three Rivers.
Over the past few years, the club has been tightening its belt in an effort to survive. While monetary awards are few and far between from the club these days, providing scholarships to graduating seniors who balance music with academics, extracurricular activities, and volunteer service remain a priority of club members. In 2018, STJC committed to $9,485 to be used for scholarships, and this is solely due to generous donors who earmarked their funds to be used for these dedicated musicians.
The club promotes youth musicians year-round at their quarterly concerts and Jazzaffair and are proud to promote all young musicians. This year, STJC especially congratulates the following:
Katherine Pfaff of Three Rivers will attend Lewis & Clark College in Portland, Ore. She plans to major in Environmental Science and Music.
Katie plays piano and clarinet. She is also an outstanding singer.
Anyone who was in attendance at this year’s Recognition Night, sponsored by the Three Rivers Lions Club on the eve of Jazzaffair, heard Katie’s amazing solo of St. James Infirmary with the Woodlake High School Jazz Band.
Katie finishes high school with a 4.24 grade point average and took part in many school activities and sports. She was a valuable member of the marching, concert, and jazz bands at WHS as well as choir. She also composes music.
Katie turned in an impressive 283 hours of community service earned during her four years at WHS. Comments from her senior exit interviewers include “responsible,” “a team leader going above and beyond,” and thoughtful, diligent, tremendous energy, and school spirit.
Julia Irvin of Three Rivers will start her college career at College of the Sequoias in Visalia. She plans to major in Marine Biology/Oceanography.
Julia also took part in many school activities and sports. She was a valuable jazz, marching and concert band member where she was a percussionist, the street drum major, and helped direct the band.
Julia has a 4.03 GPA and 182 hours of community service. Comments from her exit interviewers: “well-rounded,” “excellent character,” “openness with a good sense of humor.”
CSU Fresno will receive $6,400 for tuition for Jacob Rivera. Jacob has played trombone in his various school bands since sixth grade. He is currently pursuing a degree in Psychology and has been working two jobs to support himself while in college.
STJC will also cover tuition for three high school musicians who will attend the Teagarden Dixieland Jazz Camp at the Sly Park Education Center in Pollock Pines in the Sierra foothills east of Sacramento. This is a two-week school held each summer for young musicians (ages 12 to 18) who are enthusiastic about learning and carrying on traditional jazz.
STJC sponsored these same three to attend the camp last year: Sean Kerwin, a junior, baritone sax, and member of all three WHS bands; and Luke Method, trombone, and Carmen Hernandez, tenor sax, members of the Reedley River Rats, a high school jazz band that has performed at Jazzaffair in Three Rivers for the past several years.
Donations to STJC’s Scholarship Fund are always tax-deductible (P.O. Box 712, Three Rivers, CA 93271).