Collinsville High School senior Zack Schmitt was one of only 15 Illinois students selected to participate in the Eastern Illinois University Honor Jazz Combo Day.
Schmitt participated in private lessons and workshops with the EIU jazz faculty during the daylong event on Nov. 10. Students, selected through recommendations and a submitted audition recording, concluded the day with a concert featuring the music of great jazz musicians, including Miles Davis and John Coltrane, Schmitt’s mother Rachel said.
A saxophone player who plans a double major in music education and jazz performance in college, Schmitt was appreciative of the opportunity.
“It was honor to be invited and was cool to play along with some really great musicians from around the state,” Schmitt said.
Rachel said Zack has always challenged himself and the event gave him an opportunity to assess his strengths and weaknesses.
“Participating in the EIU Jazz Honors Band allowed him to see where he can improve and see what his biggest strengths are going into a college-level program next year,” Rachel said.
Schmitt’s musical mentors are Collinsville Middle School Band Director Mike Alexander and CHS Band Director Robert Wright.