Vocalists perform in Jazz Festival

Meyersdale Area School District  |  Posted on

Ryan Sechler and Avery Logsdon were recently selected to perform in the 2024 PMEA District 6 Jazz Festival.

Two MAHS students, Avery Logsdon and Ryan Sechler, were recently honored as vocalists in the 2024 PMEA District 6 Jazz Festival. The festival was hosted by Tussey Mountain on January 18. The festival was shortened due to a winter storm, but musicians made the best of the one-day event and performed in a concert that same evening.

Logsdon and Sechler were in the a cappella choir called Vocal Evolutions, which was under the direction of Brandon Booth.

Booth is a maestro extraordinaire with a true passion for music theory, composition and education. He is an accomplished educator leading his students to several National Competitions.

Vocal Evolutions practiced and performed a “Part of Your World Medley” arranged by Deke Sharon, and Pentatonix’s “Sing,” arranged by Wayne Grimmer.

“The festival was supposed to be two days of rehearsal with a concert to conclude it, but was cut short to one day of rehearsal and a concert that night because of the snowstorm rolling in,” explained Labrina Ritchey, choir director. “Most ensembles had four to six songs ready to rehearse, but the concert was shortened, so each group could only play/sing two songs.”

Sechler and Logsdon both said earning a spot in this prestigious festival was a true honor, and they were inspired by Booth and musicians they met and performed with during the event.

Logsdon said the rigorous audition process helped her prepare for the festival.

“Five people were chosen within each section of the choir, and we were required to submit three audition recordings. A solo, section and beat box recording were sent in and were scored. The top five auditions were chosen to participate in the festival. The audition piece was ‘Under Pressure’,”  she explained. “What I enjoyed most about the Jazz Festival was the pop music and the enthusiasm that the director exuded. Vocal Evolution is a lot more exclusive, with a smaller group of singers, so it’s definitely more enjoyable getting to know all the other students within the choir.”

This year’s event was hosted by the Tussey Mountain School District. The following PMEA District 6 schools had representation in musicians: Altoona, Bishop Guilfoyle, Bishop McCort, Cambria Heights, Central, Central Cambria, Chestnut Ridge, Conemaugh Township. Everett, Ferndale, Forest Hills. Greater Johnstown, Hollidaysburg, Meyersdale, North Star, Northern Bedford, Penn Cambria, Portage, Richland, Shanksville-Stonycreek, Tussey Mountain, Tyrone and Westmont Hilltop. The festival is comprised of four musical ensembles: two jazz bands, an a cappella choir and a modern rock band.