The Golden Valley High School Music Department and Band and Color Guard Boosters are hosting the annual Downs-Fischer Jazz Festival Friday, March 10. The event features performances from the ten William S. Hart Union High School District schools, College of the Canyons Jazz Band and Go Jazz Big Band.
Tickets are available at the door.
$10 entrance fee covers all the music, pizza, salad, dessert and a beverage.
This event is open to the public and all ages.
Doors are at 5 p.m. and music starts at 5:30 p.m.
Golden Valley High School Gym is located at 27051 Robert C. Lee Pkwy in Santa Clarita.
The festival is a long-standing tradition in the SCV and was established by noted composer/arranger and longtime COC music educator Stewart “Dirk” Fischer to recognize the immense contribution of Robert K. Downs, a music educator who laid the foundation for the high-caliber music programs in the William S. Hart Union High School District and COC.
Starting at Hart High School, when it was the only district high school, Downs grew the music program into a successful, highly regarded, award-winning program, particularly in the area of jazz, where his influence extended beyond the district, and helped high school jazz bands develop a more contemporary style of playing.
Downs went on to establish the music department at COC, eventually serving as Fine Arts Department Chair. Many of his students have gone on to play professionally or semi-professionally, and his work resulted in bringing into the community other high-quality music educators, among them Larry Thornton, a long-time band director at Hart High, and Fischer, who took over the jazz program at COC. All three men have had a great impact on generations of student musicians.
Fischer, who led the COC Jazz department for 27 years before semi-retiring in 2005, established the R.K. Downs Jazz Festival in the 1970s as a recognition and appreciation of Downs, and to bring together local school jazz bands and musicians.
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