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Jazz Arts Group's Youth Jazz programs announce exciting personnel changes

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by Mark Subel on August 9, 2011

The Jazz Arts Group of Columbus (JAG) announces exciting personnel changes in its Jazz Academy Youth Jazz programs. Todd A. Stoll, founder and artistic director for Jazz Arts Group’s Youth Jazz programs has announced his acceptance of the position of Director of Education for Jazz at Lincoln Center, NYC. JAG congratulates Stoll on this
exciting opportunity and has been working directly with Stoll to identify faculty for its Youth Jazz program, which consists of three ensembles: The Columbus Youth Jazz Workshop (CYJW), the Columbus Youth Jazz Studio Ensemble
(CYJSE) and the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra (CYJO).

Stoll states of the program,

“My years with the CYJO have been some of the
most rewarding, enlightening, and exhilarating of my life. Participating in
the process of young people awakening to and taking ownership of some of the
most important aspects of our culture has been a humbling and distinct
privilege. My ultimate desire is that they have garnered a fraction of the
knowledge from me, as I have from them. I look forward to keeping in touch
over the ensuing years and hearing even more great things!”

Replacing Stoll as artistic director and director for the orchestra and
studio ensemble is Mark Donavan. Stoll states,

“Mark Donovan is the
consummate jazz educator who brings a wealth of both pedagogical and
performance based experience to the CYJO. I have been associated with Mark
for over fifteen years as a gifted performer and then as a valued teaching
colleague. His extensive knowledge of jazz literature, history, and theory
is unparalleled among our educational community. I am thrilled to have him
taking the reins and look forward to new heights of success under his
leadership.”

Mark Donavan’s broad classroom teaching background and extensive performance
resume creates an environment that brings the best out of the young
musicians with whom he works. He has launched two central Ohio youth jazz
bands: JAG’s Columbus Youth Jazz Workshop and the Columbus City Schools Jazz
All-Stars. Both groups have brought together students from a variety of
backgrounds and have inspired young people to study music in college and to
play professionally. Donavan performs in the central Ohio area as a
saxophonist and pianist and has appeared on stage with many regional and
national acts. His professional writing credits include the Columbus City
School district’s music curriculum and a jazz survey course for online
learning. Currently the instrumental music director at Fort Hayes Arts and
Academic High School, Donavan serves as the site coordinator for Berklee
College of Music’s City Music Network.

Assisting Donavan as director for the Columbus Youth Jazz Workshop will be
Ryan Hamilton. Hamilton is a versatile trombonist and educator. His training
began in fourth grade in Liverpool, New York and continued through high
school in Columbus under the tutelage of Kie Watkins and Vaughn Wiester. He
was a proud member of the Columbus Youth Jazz Orchestra during his senior
year of high school. While undergoing his collegiate studies, he joined the
Glenn Miller Orchestra, playing trombone and singing in the vocal group, The
Moonlight Serenaders. Upon finishing a two-year world tour he completed his
degree at Capital University where he currently teaches in the jazz studies
program.

As an educator, Ryan leads a big band, daily master classes and
improvisation classes, and performs in the faculty jazz combo as a faculty
member for Music for All’s Summer Symposium. He also maintains a large
private lesson studio teaching trombone, euphonium, and tuba to students of
all ages. His duties at Capital University have included directing jazz
combos, teaching the jazz improvisation and jazz audiation classes, and
teaching jazz trombone lessons. Previous teaching positions include at
Kenyon College and Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

The mission of the Jazz Arts Group is to advance and celebrate the art of
jazz through performance and education. The Youth Jazz program fulfills this
mission by providing the opportunity for students in grades 7 – 12 to
participate in one of three outstanding learning and performing ensembles.
Each ensemble rehearses weekly and offers a variety of performances and
other educational activities each season. Auditions for the 2011-12 season
will take place on Saturday and Sunday, September 17 and 18 at the Jazz Arts
Group’s Jazz Academy, 769 E. Long Street on the 4th floor of the Lincoln
Theatre complex. For additional information, as well as the audition packet,
visit www.jazzartsgroup.org

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