Woods reaches new heights on Jazz Fest stage

Sandra Kinney, Co-Editor in Chief

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When the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival chose its elite musicians this February, Meeka Woods, LHS senior, received the honor of playing as the only female on stage with the group.

Woods and the LHS jazz band traveled the annual festival in Moscow the weekend of Feb. 23. On University of Idaho campus, the competition included schools from all over the Pacific Northwest, plus select schools from Canada.

“Jazz Fest is cool because schools from all over also meekathis part of the country come together,” Woods said. “It’s amazing to see all of these insanely talented students.”

Students audition in solo competition for a chance to play on stage the final night of the festival. In each category students are scored out of 100 points. Woods auditioned in the procussion category, and scored above every other student in her category.

“They were all talking music theory,” Woods said of the elite group. “It was nice to be there. I had never done anything like that before.”

Woods’ plans to become a music teacher, and her drive for music originally began with her grandmother.

“When I was little she would always take me to [play music at] nursing homes, and it was funny because it was always senior citizens playing for senior citizens,” Woods laughed. “They never cared how well I played — they were just happy that I was there.”
She encourages other students to join band.

“[Brendan] Burns got me to join band my sophomore year, and two years later I’m totally addicted,” she said.

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Woods reaches new heights on Jazz Fest stage