17 high school bands get mentorship, recording opportunity through Corridor Jazz Project

Published: Jan. 30, 2023 at 3:58 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -17 high school jazz bands from across the area are getting a professional recording experience. It’s thanks to the Corridor Jazz Project, which is put on by 88.3 KCCK radio. They’ve been leading the mentorship and jazz education program since it began in 2008.

”We match each high school jazz band in the area with a guest artist who then comes in and works with the students, clinics with them, records with them,” explained Dennis Green, General Manager at Jazz 88.3 KCCK.

This year the project is the largest it’s ever been. And thanks to sponsors it’s free to each of the participating schools. The recording sessions are put onto an album.

On March 7th, a concert will be held at the Paramount Theatre in Cedar Rapids to celebrate the release of the album. All 17 bands will play live.

”I got to participate at the Paramount for a couple of years and it is a magical place to be on stage. I mean you just look out and you swear there’s no end to the theatre,” said Killian Ritland.

Ritland took part in the project as a Liberty student. Now he’s come full circle, working for KCCK and helping other students with their craft.

“I started behind, I started in middle school didn’t have a ton of money for music, but learning and kind of working on it through my own way and then having the experience of someone like a professor or other music educators has really guided me through to where I am today,” Ritland said.

Having guest artists play with the students brings mentorship and more.

“What they also see is someone who was a student just like them and has continued to make music a part of their lives,” said Green.

Participating schools this year include Cedar Rapids Kennedy, West Branch, Xavier, Mid-Prairie, Linn-Mar, Center Point-Urbana, Marion, Lisbon, Clear Creek Amana, Iowa City West, Solon, Anamosa, Prairie, Iowa City High, Cedar Rapids Washington, Cedar Rapids Jefferson and Liberty.

Tickets to the concert can be purchased through the Orchestra Iowa Box Office: 319-366-8203.