Amsterdam Jazz Skills Workshop Diary

Amsterdam Jazz Skills Workshop Diary
  • High School
Douglas Brittain

Day 1 Travel

The AMIS Jazz Festival students are in the Netherlands!  They had a long day of travel, but are happily settled in their hotels.  They later ventured into the heart of the Hague to have dinner by the impressive and beautiful government buildings and museums.   They look forward to the first day of rehearsal tomorrow in their jazz combos! 

Day 2 Jazz Festival

The students had a full day of rehearsal today with the guest Jazz Skills Workshop clinician Mr.Jeff Pellaton.  The ensemble made a lot of progress throughout the day with Mr.Pellaton's energetic musical guidance, and the students also had an opportunity to work with instrument specialists in the sectionals.  It was great to see our students interacting with students from other schools; there are 16 different international schools represented in this festival from European, East Asian, and Middle Eastern countries.


Day 3 Jazz Festival

Even after just one day of rehearsal, you could hear the big growth in the tone quality of the group as a whole on the second day.   Our students' solos sounded great!  I'm thrilled to see them taking musical risks and being creative in their improvisations. In the evening, there was an AMIS Combo concert, which was wonderful!  In the evening, while Ms.Hashi went to a director's dinner, the students and Mr.Frain went to a Dutch Pancake restaurant near the hotel. 

Day 4 Jazz Festival

Today was the AMIS Jazz workshop students' performance day! The ensemble went through a massive transformation over the past three days, as the students have been playing for approximately 5 hours a day in the daily rehearsals. Our students nailed their solos in the performances! The recording of the performance will be shared by the school host, so I will keep you posted! 

During one of the longer breaks today, the students had the option to use the gym.  The multi-talented Seisen girls started to play volleyball, and it was heartwarming to see how some students from other schools joined them in the friendly game.  The students also attempted to teach Ms.Hashi to play; she was pretty pathetic, but had loads of fun! 

In the evening, the Honor Jazz Band and Vocal Jazz Ensemble performed in the theater, and it was a lovely concert! Perhaps Seisen students can audition for this group next year; the AMIS Jazz Festival next year will be in Dusseldorf, Germany.  

Final Day 

We had a chance to explore Amsterdam together after the completion of the Jazz Skills Workshop.   On our way to the Pancake Bakery where we had lunch, we took a leisurely stroll around the canal.  After lunch, we walked by the Anne Frank House and took a tram to visit the Van Gogh Museum.  We got to see some of his iconic works, such as Sunflowers, The Bedroom, and his series of self-portraits.  

Naoko Hashimoto-Uesaka

Music Director






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