| 03.24.2018

Passing on the prize


 Rotating trophies, chance for future free admission new addition to UI Jazz Festival


For the first time, a rotating trophy and free admission to next year’s University of Idaho Jazz Festival will be awarded to three “outstanding” student ensembles every afternoon of this year’s event.

These ensembles will bring the trophies back to their school and return the trophy to the festival for another school to win the following year, said Jazz Festival Artistic Director Vern Sielert.

“It’s kind of like the Stanley Cup in hockey, right? Somebody wins it each year and they get to bring it home, but then they have to bring it back,” he said.

In accordance with the Jazz Festival theme “Grounded in tradition. Breaking new ground,” the trophy is a revival of similar sweepstakes prizes offered years ago, although the prize is not exactly the same, said Jazz Festival Educational Advisor Vanessa Sielert. Vanessa said the idea of annually passing the trophies on, for example, is new, as is granting the winners complimentary admission to next year’s festival. The three rotating trophies are the highest awards a student group can receive, but they will not be the only trophies awarded.

Vanessa said multiple groups will compete for the chance to perform and compete at a young artist concert at 4:30 p.m. each afternoon in the Kibbie Dome. She said these groups will receive smaller trophies to keep. The overall winners of these concerts will receive the rotating trophies.

“The idea behind it is that it will be a trophy that schools will be proud to have earned through winning the competition for the day,” Vanessa said.

A middle or elementary school group will win a trophy Thursday, a high school vocal group will win another Friday and a high school instrumental group will take the last one Saturday, Vern said.

Vern said the purpose of the trophy is to recognize excellent student group performances.

“We want to reward those folks,” he said.

Vanessa said another positive aspect of the system is that nameplates of the winning schools will be mounted on the trophy they won. These trophies can hold over 20 nameplates and be used for over two decades.

“There becomes some history surrounding who has won it,” Vanessa said. “So the new school each year will see the past winners of that trophy, right there on the trophy.”

Vanessa said the tradition can be continued after the trophies are filled by retiring them and obtaining new ones.

Nina Rydalch can be reached at arg-arts@uidaho.edu or on Twitter @NinaRobin7

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