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Detroit Jazz Festival announces national jazz competitions

As part of its mission to foster and support jazz throughout the country, the Detroit Jazz Festival is now accepting submissions for two national competitions – saxophone performance and jazz arrangement – that will be judged by prominent jazz artists and educators, with prize money totaling $5,000 and the chance to perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Labor Day Weekend, August 31 through September 3.
The Detroit Jazz Festival’s JC Heard Jazz Big Band Arranging Competition and Jazz Saxophone Competition are the first of the annual competitions designed to highlight a specific jazz composer and celebrate the artistry of the saxophonist and arranger by encouraging new works from young talent throughout the U.S.
“The inaugural jazz saxophonist and arrangement competitions help seek out talented artists that deserve recognition,” said Chris Collins, artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival, in a recent news release. “It is important to help new and emerging artists establish a presence in the jazz world and continue developing their talents to hopefully become a permanent fixture. One of the definitive goals of jazz artists is to develop a highly individualized voice, and a goal of the festival is to positively contribute to jazz music and culture. This is one way we can merge these goals and make a difference.”
Arrangers will be asked to choose a composition from a significant jazz composer’s body of work, determined by the festival, and create an original arrangement for a designated ensemble. For the 2012 competition, individuals – 35 years and younger – are invited to arrange a Wayne Shorter composition of their choice for big band instrumentation with a featured soloist. Judges will include Collins; Terence Blanchard, 2012 Artist in Residence; Ellen Rowe, director of jazz studies, University of Michigan; and Russ Miller, department of jazz studies, Wayne State University. One grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and have the opportunity to see their arrangement performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival by the Detroit All-Star Big Band and a guest soloist. Two finalists will also be awarded with $500 each.
The jazz saxophonist competition seeks to recognize and provide performance opportunities to outstanding jazz saxophonists 32 years of age or younger. Applicants are asked to provide three tracks featuring a saxophonist with a rhythm section. Three finalists will be selected and scheduled to appear in Detroit to perform at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café on August 9, 2012, and at Cliff Bell’s Jazz Club on August 10, 2012. A panel of judges, including Blanchard, Collins and acclaimed Detroit saxophonist George Benson, will select the grand-prize winner and finalists. The winner will be awarded $2,000 and will be scheduled to perform a set at the Detroit Jazz Festival with the Detroit Jazz Festival All-Star Quartet. In addition, two finalists will be awarded $500 each.
“We are continually looking for the best ways to celebrate the jazz culture and its artists,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. “The launch of these competitions, combined with the festival’s other efforts, provide a great foundation for developing future jazz talent. The festival has always been dedicated to acknowledging the importance of jazz within our communities.”
In addition to the events on Labor Day weekend, the Detroit Jazz Festival organizes year-round cultural and educational efforts, like the JC Heard Jazz Week@Wayne and the poetry slam series, to cultivate jazz in the community.
Artists can submit their applications online or by mail. 
To apply for the Jazz Saxophonist Competition, visit–submission deadline is July 15.
To apply for the Arranging Competition, visit–submission deadline is August 1.
To mail an entry, download an application at and send the completed form and score to: Detroit Jazz Festival, ­
19900 Harper Ave.,
Harper Woods, Mich. 48225
(Attn: Sax Competition or Arranging Competition, respectively).
Finalists must submit copied parts by August 15.
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Oral Roberts University presents “Christmas Joys” in December 2010

Oral Roberts University presents “Christmas Joys” at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3, 2010, at the ORU Mabee Center, 81st Street and South Lewis Avenue in Tulsa, OK.
“Christmas Joys” is a musical celebration featuring ORU combined choirs and orchestra, Victory Christian School Children’s Choir, Andrew “The Whistler” Parker, the ORU Singers, Souls A’Fire and the Ladies and Gentlemen of Jazz. According to a news release, a Children’s Open House will take place before the concert with games, hands-on activities and refreshments from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m.
Admission to the concert is an unwrapped toy. All donations will be distributed to families in the Tulsa community through the Salvation Army. For more information, call (918) 495-6591.

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It’s “Sax to the Max” at Tulsa’s Jazz Depot for New Year’s Eve

The Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame will present its New Year’s Eve Celebration on Friday, Dec. 31 at The Jazz Depot, 1st and Cincinnati in Tulsa.  Doors will open at 7 p.m. Longtime Tulsa saxophonist and 2002 Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee Earl Clark and his Spectrum Band will present a fusion of jazz, blues, R&B and country from 8 to 10 p.m. 
The evening will conclude with 2004 Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee and Tulsa saxophonist Grady Nichols, featuring “American Idol” vocalist Krista Branch from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Tickets are $70 per person and are available online at and by calling (918) 281-8600.  The ticket price includes buffet dining, desserts, entertainment, complimentary champagne toast and party favors to bring in the New Year. Only 350 seats are available at event.

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Muskogee Little Theatre continues “Miracle on 34th Street” this weekend

Muskogee Little Theatre will end its holiday production “Miracle on 34th Street” this weekend. The production, directed by Charles Mutch, is about Kris Kringle, who is the personification of good will and holiday spirit. As Macy’s holiday Santa, he enchants children and shoppers so completely that he is deemed dangerous by fellow employees who question his competency and plot to ruin him. A small girl’s belief in Santa and the magic of the holiday is at stake in a climactic courtroom decision.

Ticket prices are $14 for adults and $10 for students. Advanced tickets may be reserved at Soundworld, 123 East Okmulgee, Muskogee by calling (918) 683-4901. Remaining tickets may also be available at the theatre box office, Cincinnati & D Street, Muskogee30 minutes prior to show. For more information, contact box office at (918) 683-5332. “Miracle on 34th Street” is sponsored with the assistance of the Oklahoma Arts Council. For additional information,  visit

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Clark Theatre presents “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever”

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is presented at 2 p.m. Dec. 6 and 13, and 7:30 p.m. today, Saturday and Dec. 9-12 at Clark Youth Theatre, 11440 E Admiral Place, Tulsa. Kathryn Hartney is the director.

This Christmas tale makes its 23rd annual appearance at Clark Theatre. “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” chronicles the story of the Herdmans, who are the worst kids in school. One Sunday, the Herdsmas come to church to take advantage of the free snacks the minister gives out, and it happens to be the same day for the annual church Christmas Pageant tryouts. After peer intimidation, the Herdmans were cast in lead roles. Disaster looms, but so does the possibility of learning the true meaning of Christmas.
For ticket information, call (918) 669-6455 or go to

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Easter: A Continuation

Although the Easter holiday is over, family returning home, eggs and candy on clearance racks, one must never forget the goodness of God nor his promises to us. Not only devotionals are meaningful, but songs as well. So blessed by the ministry of Commissioned, who reminds us that God’s love is everlasting: Be blessed today and always.

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Good Friday Traditions

Today is Good Friday, and through the weekend, Christian families will gather together for church services, Easter dinner, egg hunts and other activities. Here is a brief list of many Easter films that focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“The Passion of the Christ” (R): Chronicles the last twelve hours of the life of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Starring James Caviezel as Jesus and directed by Mel Gibson, the film was originally released in theaters in 2004. The film is portrayed in the biblical Aramaic and Latin languages with subtitles in English.

“Amazing Grace” (PG): Focuses on William Wilberforce (1759-1833). Played by Ioan Gruffudd as the zealous believer in God, human rights activist and British member of Parliament, who battled through discouragement and illness for two decades to end the slave trade in England. In a time of personal crisis, Wilberforce is inspired and encouraged in his long fight to abolish slavery by the former slave ship master, John Newton (Albert Finney), who wrote the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace” following his conversion to Christianity.

“The Greatest Story Ever Told” (G): A classic epic film that recreates the life of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, from his birth in Bethlehem to his baptism by John (Charles Heston), the raising of Lazarus, the Last Supper and finally his death, burial and resurrection. Starring Max Von Sydow as Jesus and directed by George Stevens, the film was originally released in 1965.

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