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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Local students earn seats in All-Region Jazz Band

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Two area students recently won a seat in the ASBOA Region VIII All-Region Jazz Band.Carrie Johnson, an eighth grade student at Salem High School, and Tonia Spurlock, a senior at Highland High School, were among students from Region 8 competing for the jazz band Nov. 5 at MacArthur Jr. High in Jonesboro. Johnson, who plays the trumpet, placed in the Junior High Jazz Band, and Spurlock, on the bass guitar, placed in the Senior Jazz Band.Students from Westside, Paragould, Jonesboro, Batesville, Nettleton, Valley View, Greene County Tech, Rivercrest, Newport, Brookland, Annie Camp, MacArthur, Salem and Highland schools competed for a spot in these bands.Johnson and Spurlock were the only two students from the tri-county area winning in the competition. They attended the All-Region Jazz Clinic Nov. 16, and performed in concert Nov. 17 at Jonesboro High School's theater. Students, parents and band directors enjoyed a concert Friday evening given by the University of Memphis Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra, a 20-member group, directed by Dr. Jack Cooper. The group performed a wide range of styles of jazz from Duke Ellington to modern composers such as Bob Brookmeyer and others.Michael Cole, band director at Salem High School said he was pleased with Johnson's achievement, stating that in his tenure with the school, she is the only student that has made the All-Region Jazz Band. She is the daughter of Lennie and Karen Johnson. Greg Bruner, band director at Highland High, said he is also proud of Spurlock's achievement, stating this is her third year to make the band. As first chair in this year's competition, Spurlock will travel to Conway in February for the All-State Jazz Band competition. She is the daughter of Rona Moore and Conway Spurlock.

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