Golden Valley High School Hosts The Annual Downs- Fischer Jazz festival

Flyer for the Downs Fischer Festival
Flyer for the Downs Fischer Festival

The Golden Valley High School Music Department, band, and color guard boosters are hosting the annual “Downs-Fischer Jazz Festival” on March 8th, 2024. There will be performances by not only high schools, but also from junior high schools as well. There will also be special guest performances by the “Go Jazz Big Band”, and “COC Jazz Band”.

This is a festival to start the jazz band season, and is a fun event to showcase different jazz groups before the competition season starts. Tickets are available at the door, or you can purchase tickets in advance. Marci Castro, treasurer for the Golden Valley High School Band Boosters as well as the organizer of this event stated “ A ticket costs 15 dollars for adults, and 10 dollars for kids 12 and under. This fee covers the performances, pizza, salad, desert, and drinks.” Take advantage of this amazing deal to eat some good food and listen to these outstanding bands play some jazz music.

A long standing tradition in the Santa Clarita Valley is the Downs Fischer Festival. It was established to recognize the immense musical contributions of Robert K. Downs and Stewart “Dirk” Fischer. Stewart “Dirk” Fischer was a composer/arranger, and a long time music educator at the College of the Canyons.

Robert. K. Downs, a music educator who started at Hart High School, grew the music program into a successful, highly regarded, award winning program, particularly in the area of jazz. This is where his influence extended beyond the district. He laid the foundation for all of the amazing music programs in the William S. Hart Union High School District, and College of the Canyons.

This festival allows all junior high, and high school bands to perform their music to an audience before the Spring Jazz Competition season starts. It is overall a fun event where you can experience new types of music coming from ensembles where the levels are at the pro level and the beginner level. Families can come together, eat food, and enjoy these amazing ensembles perform, and it shows that it doesn’t matter the level or the age. People with a passion for creating music can shape it to appeal to the audience to leave them with an experience they will never forget, and overall keep the tradition of live jazz music alive. The first jazz competition in the Santa Clarita Valley will be the “Canyon Jazz Festival” which will be located at Canyon High School on April 27, 2024.

About the Contributor
Lucas Castro, Staff Writer
Lucas Castro is a senior at Golden Valley high school and one of the Grizzly Gazette’s staff writers on the CEPAT Team. He is involved in the school marching, symphonic, and jazz bands on campus. There have been many accomplishments that he has made, they include being in the district honor band for 2 years and the district honor jazz band for a year. He is very passionate about playing music and it is a big part of his life, so it will reflect in his writing. The reason why he is passionate about music is because he likes to get involved with the community through music and enjoys learning new things that give him a challenge. What being a student journalist in the school newspaper means to him is that he will be able to write about what he wants and express his ideas through his writing. Some of his hobbies include playing video games and playing his instruments saxophone and clarinet.