Raise the baton and start tapping your feet. Among the featured artists at the 35th annual Seaside Jazz Festival was the Seaside High School student jazz band under the direction of Terry Dahlgren.

The group is no stranger to the big stage, with competitions and live performances throughout February and continuing into March, including a concert at the high school.

For Dahlgren, the band’s success is part of a long tradition of “spreading the music around.”

Along with the symphonic band, the group “is in the middle of the process” of participating in and preparing for upcoming performances, including a Tuesday competition in St. Helens and a concert at the high school on Wednesday.

“A week ago we played at the district jazz festival in Astoria,” Dahlgren said Sunday before taking the stage for the jazz festival. “Yesterday we had students doing solo and ensemble competitions in Tillamook.”

Those included jazz band members Gage Mergel, Isaiah Collins, Hayley Rollins and Jacob Brien.

Seaside’s musicians descend from a proud tradition at the high school. This year’s band “shapes up great,” Dahlgren said. “We’re working hard. It’s a process, and we’re kind of in the middle of the process right now.”

Repertoire includes mostly the classics, Dahlgren said. “It’s super important they’re familiar with some of the standards,” he said. “For the regular band, we program four varying styles for competition.”

On Wednesday night, the winter band concert takes place at the high school at 7 p.m. A winter choir concert takes place March 7 at 7 p.m. The district choir competition takes place March 13-14.

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