Area high school, middle school, and junior college jazz bands and jazz vocal ensembles will sharpen their skills this weekend under the direction of musical masters at Friends University. The 21st Annual Jazz Festival is a two-day event on the Friends University campus in Wichita. An invitational vocal concert will cap off Friday's events and the festival will culminate with the Headliner Concert Saturday night. (The festival's daytime events are no-cost and welcome observers.)
Dan Racer teaches bass, music theory, composition and directs the Chamber Orchestra at Friends University. He is an active musician in the Wichita area performing as principal bassist for the Wichita Grand Opera and as a jazz bassist with many groups in the Wichita area. He also is an active composer with works in a variety of genres from classical to jazz and beyond. Many of his works have been premiered by Friends University ensembles as well as musicians in Wichita and around the world.
Thousands of families in Wichita will have a brighter Christmas this year due to donations to the Salvation Army.
At the former Big Dog Motorcycle building Monday volunteers helped sort through toys to be distributed later this week.
Two hundred sixty two students, faculty and staff from Friends University helped the Salvation Army prepare to distribute gifts to children donated through the Angel Tree program. Major Douglas Rowland says each year, the volunteers decorate the building, plus organize and assemble some of the toys.