All-State Jazz


As the academic school year comes to a close, activities at Pella Community High School continue to remain strong. Pella’s music programs are no exception to this. After an extremely successful jazz band season earning the program their 20th Jazz Championship, the Pella Jazz Band sent students to audition for All-State Jazz Band. Students audition and are selected to be in a band which is then made up of other All-Staters from other bands across the state. They then perform a concert in early May.

This year, under the direction of Jeff Robilliard and Dameon Place, eight Pella High students were selected for All-State to honor the school and the band program. This includes seniors Morgan Uitermarkt, Ryder Bates, Eli Burrows, Isaac Boulavong and Grant Anderson; and juniors Penny Shriver, Tyler Miflfin, and Eli Ebeling. This year, Pella had the most All-State Jazz students qualify than any other school in the state, which is a huge accomplishment.

This year’s seniors enjoyed the opportunity to get to know people from other schools and come together in the name of jazz. 

“I just liked meeting all the people. I really enjoy getting together with some of the best jazz musicians from all across the state,” said Anderson. “Nerding out about jazz, joining together as a community, and everyone speaking the same language.” And Anderson is not the only one who found the experience valuable.

“It’s super cool to get to experience a new director that is also prestigious, well known, and accomplished,” says Uitermarkt. She is in agreement with Anderson when saying, “It’s super fun to get to play along with other talented jazz musicians from around the state.”

Although the academic year is coming to an end and this year’s seniors will be graduating from high school music programs, the jazz program at Pella High continues to succeed and represent our school and community well. And, as Boulavong adds, “nobody threw up a zombie burger.”