Peru State College
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News Release

39th Annual Jazz Festival at Peru State Wednesday

R&B, jazz performer and instructor Ansyn Banks to serve as adjudicator


(Peru, Neb.) Peru State College (PSC) will host its 39th Annual Jazz Festival this Wednesday, March 14 in the College Theatre. The event is free and open to the public.

Competition for Classes A, B and C begins at 8:30 a.m. Participants and visitors will be treated to an exhibition performance by the PSC Hoyt Street Jazz Ensemble at 11:30 a.m. An awards ceremony will be held at noon. Competition for Class AA begins at 12:30 p.m. The PSC Hoyt Street Jazz Ensemble will perform again at 4:30 p.m. The awards ceremony for Class AA will begin at 5p.m.

Participating high schools and their directors are listed below.

Class AA

  • Bellevue West High School – A.J. Bowen
  • Elkhorn South High School – Dr. Michelle Bluford
  • Omaha Burke High School – Nick Spath
  • Omaha South High School – Joshua Austin
  • Papillion-LaVista South High School – David May
  • Ralston High School – Martin Frye

Class A and B

  • Auburn Public Schools – Trenton Stump
  • Gretna High School – Alex Wimmer

Class C

  • Elmwood-Murdock High School – Michael Hanson
  • Johnson County Central High School – Andrew Johnson
  • Tri-County High School – Nate Morrissey

Dr. Patrick Fortney, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and festival coordinator, said, “We look forward to the Jazz Festival every year not only for the rousing music, but also the thrill of competition. This year promises to be one of the best yet, thanks in part to having an adjudicator with the renown of Ansyn Banks.”

Ansyn Banks, adjudicator for the competition, has performed R&B with the likes of Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, The Temptations, The Temptations Review, The Mighty Dells, Dick Oatts, Harry Pickens, Chuck Marohnic, Hank Marr, Gene Walker, Melvin Rhyne, and many other jazz artists and R&B artists. Banks directs the University of Louisville’s jazz combo program and teaches jazz trumpet, jazz styles and analysis, and jazz improvisation.

A native of Ohio, Banks holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Ohio Wesleyan University, a master’s degree in jazz studies from Indiana University and a doctorate in brass pedagogy from Indiana University.

For additional information on the PSC Jazz Festival, contact the Department of Arts and Sciences at 402-872-2237 or visit