DeForest Area High School Band Director Brandon Bautz conducts the band during a 2018 practice session.

In November, the Madison Jazz Society awarded grants totaling $7,320 from its School Grant Fund to music programs in Wisconsin schools to help students learn about and perform jazz. Grant requests were received from fifteen schools around the state; many of which are in the midst of attempting to rebuild their jazz education programs after the COVID pandemic.

One of the 2021-22 school year grants in the amount of $500 was awarded to De Forest Area High School (Brandon Bautz, Director) to underwrite jazz student participation in the UW-Stevens Point Jazz Festival.

Other grants were awarded to Belleville High School (Stephanie Meir, Director) -- $500 to help purchase a Yamaha Baritone saxophone for the Jazz band; Wisconsin Hills Middle School, Brookfield (Phil Rothschadl, Director) -- $500 to help purchase sheet music to revive the Middle School Jazz Program; Cambridge High School (Nathan Gerlach, Director) -- $500 to underwrite a guest artist to work with the school’s jazz ensemble; Jefferson High School (Jennah Smet, Director) – $325 to help purchase method books for the school’s jazz ensemble; La Follette High School, Madison (Jamie Kember, Director) – $500 to help purchase a battery powered portable PA speaker to be used in class instruction as well as outreach and community performances; Mayville High School (James Cooney, Director) – $500 to help purchase reduced instrumentation part charts for the Jazz band; Menomonie High School

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Add 1 – Madison Jazz Society Grant Awards

(Jacob Karkula, Director) – $500 to underwrite jazz clinicians to work with the school’s -Jazz band; Sauk Trail Elementary School, Middleton (John Becker, Director) – $500 to support the Making Jazz Music Child’s Play program; Monona Grove High School (Cara Collins, Director) – $500 to underwrite hiring jazz clinicians to work with the jazz bands; Platteville High School (Kevin Cooley, Director) – $500 to underwrite expansion of the band’s music library; Reedsburg Area High School (Scott Bruer, Director) – $500 to underwrite the Baraboo/Portage/Reedsburg Honors Jazz Project; Stoughton High School (Dan Schmidt, Director) – $495 to help purchase jazz ensemble method books and music; Patrick Marsh Middle School, Sun Prairie (Sharon Haraldson, Director) – $500 to underwrite the Sun Prairie Middle School Jazz Festival and Wisconsin Dells Middle & High Schools (Matt Roble & Koreena Wood, Directors) – $500 to help purchase a trumpet and trombone for the school’s jazz band.

In announcing the awards, MJS President Linda Marty Schmitz stated, "We are very proud that the money awarded this year and since the program began in 1989 brings the total amount of scholarships and grants awarded by our all-volunteer organization to over $148,000. We are pleased that these grants will assist students and teachers from all over Wisconsin now and in years to come. We are thrilled to see that these schools are working to provide opportunities for their students to learn about America’s original art form – jazz."

More information on the school grant program and the Society can be found at Formed in 1984, the Madison Jazz Society is a non-profit, all volunteer organization formed to encourage the performance of, preservation of and education about jazz.

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