This was an eventful weekend for Clark County School District. On top of several athletic tournaments, the Southern Nevada Band Association held a performance at Green Valley High School Theater for the 2022 High School Honor Jazz Band.
Benjamin Nelson, a sophomore trumpet player, was the only student selected from Virgin Valley High School as a member of this elite group of performers. In order to be a member, students were required to audition for a spot in the band. After they were accepted, they attended one practice February 2nd where they received the sheet music for the first time and practiced each song as a group. The students were then expected to practice on their own for the next two weeks. Ben was helped by two local band directors, Britney Wagner and Conrad Allen, while he practiced at home. On February 17th and 18th the students gathered together once again for a five hour practice each day. The final performance was on Saturday, February 19th.
Ben said of the performance, “It was amazing to go and see all these students that shared one common interest in music and playing. I feel like the friends I made here have taught me more than I could’ve ever hope to learn.”
Dr. Richard McGee of Las Vegas conducted the performance. Dr. McGee has been active in the Las Vegas music industry since arriving in 1981. He has performed with musical greats such as Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, and Natalie Cole. In addition he has received numerous accolades for his efforts as conductor, composer, performer, clinician, and educator.