Zionsville Middle School well represented on Junior All-State Jazz Band

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From left, ZMS students Ethan Perry (trombone), Cody Bevelhimer (electric string bass) and Wesley Turnbull (trumpet) were members of the Junior All-State Band. (photo by Mark Ambrogi)

From left, ZMS students Ethan Perry (trombone), Cody Bevelhimer (electric string bass) and Wesley Turnbull (trumpet) were members of the Junior All-State Band. (photo by Mark Ambrogi)

By Mark Ambrogi

Zionsville Middle School was well-represented in the Junior All-State Jazz Band.

Three ZMS eighth-graders, Wesley Turnbull (trumpet), Ethan Perry (trombone) and Cody Bevelhimer (electric string bass), took part in the 20-member band. No other middle school had more than one representative. This was the first year for the Junior All-Star Band, which was chosen by a blind audition by a selection committee, All-State Band coordinator Bethany Robinson said.

“We’re really excited they were given the opportunity, it’s very special,” ZMS band director Josh Weirich said.

They performed at the Embassy Theatre in Fort Wayne at the Indiana Music Educators Association Conference.

“I really enjoyed it because I could meet new people that were like a skill level we were and it was enjoyable to play with those people,” Turnbull said.

Turnbull said they got the music a month before the performance. Then the ensemble got together and rehearsed for three days before the concert in Fort Wayne.

Perry said the experience motivated him to keep improving.

“The director was great,” Perry said. “The people there were great and it was an overall good experience, and I felt I got better playing jazz music overall.”

Perry, who said he was surprised when he got picked from the audition, played a solo during  Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon.”  Perry played solo on the same song as well-known jazz trumpet player Pharez Whitted.

Bevelhimer has been playing electric string bass for four years.

“I played guitar before and I wanted to play another string instrument but nothing that was too easy or small, so I chose the bass,” Bevelhimer said.

Bevelhimer enjoyed the challenge.

“At my school, the bass players are all good, but it takes some work to get in advanced jazz band,” he said. “When I got (to all-state rehearsals), there was another bass player who was better than me. It kind of shocked me. That makes me even want to get better.”

There were two Zionsville Community High School students, Joshua Neumann (trombone) and Scott Kelley (tenor sax) on the All-State Jazz Band with all high school musicians.

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