About Jazz Ensemble I

 LSE Jazz Ensemble I 2011-2012

Current members of LSE Jazz I are:

Saxophones – Nick Morse, Ashley Pales, Alexandra Lee, Kyle Brunner, Jacob Pales

Trumpets – Ben Bird, Alex Bouvier, Brenden Gatzemeyer, Ben Herbel, Ethan Berkebile

Trombones – Max Cuppens, Kelly Ooten, Brandon SchumanAdam Fitzgibbon

Piano – Thomas Graul

Guitar – Avi Knecht

Bass – Josh Bargar

Drums – Brennan Hill

The Southeast High School Jazz Ensemble I is one of three performing jazz ensembles at Southeast High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. Jazz Ensemble I is selected each year through auditions and rehearses every school day. Jazz Ensembles II and III are open to anyone interested in learning about jazz. The focus of all ensembles is to gain experience playing a wide variety of big band jazz and to develop improvisational skills. Jazz Ensemble I presents four formal concerts each year, attends the Kansas University and UNC-Greeley Jazz Festivals, puts on a dance at the DelRay Ballroom, records a CD of compositions performed during the year, and performs in the Lincoln community as requested. The band has also been selected to perform at state music conventions in 1994, 1999 and 2008, and for the 2008 NSBA convention commissioned and performed the world premier of “Southeast Six Step”, a new composition written for the band by noted jazz composer Eric Richards.



Southeast Jazz Ensemble I performing at the 1999 Jazz at Lincoln Center
Essentially Ellington Competition – Avery Fisher Hall, New York City

In the spring of 1999, the Southeast Jazz Ensemble I was selected as one of 20 finalist bands from tapes sent in from over 150 bands from 38 states in the Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington Competition. Highlights of their participation in this festival included the chance to work with and be adjudicated by musicians like Slide Hampton, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Paquito d≠Rivera and Wynton Marsalis, as well as the opportunity to perform at Avery Fisher Hall in New York.

The band has worked with a number of well-known guest artists/clinicians, including Slide Hampton, Randy Brecker, Carl Allen, Farid Barron, Stefon Harris, Willie Hill, Benny Powell, Steve Turre, Dan Gailey, Matt Wallace, Steve Houghton, Willie Thomas, Chris Merz, Eric Richards, Jon Faddis, Bill Watrous, and others.

Many of the students have participated in the All-State Jazz Band, the NJO Young Lions Jazz Orchestra and the Monday Night Big Band. Several LSE Jazz Ensemble I students have been named winners of the Nebraska Jazz Orchestra Young Artist Award and were featured in concert with the NJO. These students include 1997 winner Broc Hempel (piano), 1998 winner Chris Steinke (alto sax), 2002 winner Alex Levitov (tenor sax), 2003 winner Tommy van den Berg (trombone), 2006 winner Paul Krueger (trumpet), and 2010 winner Tommy Krueger (trumpet). Some other notable alumni of the LSE Jazz Ensemble I include:

James Valentine – Professional musician, member of Grammy Award winning group Maroon 5
Ryland Steen – Professional musician touring nationally with the band Reel Big Fish
Dr. Chris Ellenwood – Professor of Clarinet, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
Dr. Christy Banks – Professor of Clarinet, Millersville University
Scott Rademacher -Professional musician and recording artist, Jacksonville, FL
Chris Niermann – Professional musician, Santa Fe, NM
Corey Biggerstaff – Professional musician, Chicago, IL
Broc Hempel – Professional musician, New York, NY
Drew Steen – Professional musician, Los Angeles, CA
David Rosser – Professional musician, Los Angeles, CA
Chris Steinke – 2000 IAJE Clifford Brown/Stan Getz fellowship winner
Paul Krueger – Jazz Studies, University of Oregon
Liz Love – 2007 Disney All-American Band, Doctoral student, University of Texas at Austin
Tommy Krueger – Current member, UN-L Jazz Ensemble I,
UN-L Jazz Combo I
Adam Salistean – Current member, UN-L Jazz Ensemble I

Former students have also played in jazz and concert ensembles at the Eastman School of Music, Stanford University, Harvard University, University of North Florida, William Paterson University, DePaul University, Iowa State University, Kansas University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Florida State University, and others.





James Valentine (far right) performing with Maroon 5