Bethel University Presents 2023 Festival of Jazz Feb. 18

by | Feb 10, 2023

Festival of Jazz

Tickets are on sale now for the first annual Festival of Jazz Closing Concert and Award Ceremony, which will be held Sat., Feb. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the Everest-Rohrer Auditorium.

Throughout the entire day on February 18, area high school jazz bands will gather to perform, learn, and improv with some of the greatest professionals around! The event will culminate with an evening concert, which is open to the public.

“The first annual Bethel Festival of Jazz is an event aimed at celebrating and cultivating the distinctly American form of music known as jazz among high school students in Michiana and beyond,” says Steve Allen, director of Bethel Jazz Ensemble and Truth in Jazz. “Students will listen to their peers perform and gain professional musical experience from our solid staff of performer/clinicians. Lovers of music of all kinds will enjoy the evening concert, where we will hear our clinicians and outstanding student soloists perform.”

The concert will feature specially selected high school soloists (from the festival participants), Truth in Jazz (a professional big band comprised of music educators) and the Bethel University Jazz Ensemble, with guest clinicians Patrick Hession, trumpet; Jim Catalano, percussion; Jay Jehl, trombone; and Todd Williams, saxophone.

T-shirts will be for sale before and after the event.

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. They may be purchased online at or by calling the box office at 574.807.7080, Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m.-5 p.m. and Tuesday and Thursday from 3 p.m.-5 p.m.

The event is sponsored by Conn Selmer, Quinlan and Fabish and BandTools.

About the Guest Clinicians

Jay Jehl was born in Fort Wayne, Ind., and received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., in 2007 as well as a master’s degree in conducting from the American Band College of Sam Houston State University in 2016. Jehl toured professionally playing trombone with the Glenn Miller Orchestra from 2005-2006, performing concerts in every continental U.S. state as well as France, Italy, Switzerland, and Japan. Jehl moved to Charleston, S.C., in 2007 where he taught middle and high school bands for 13 years. While in South Carolina, he played lead trombone in the Charleston Jazz Orchestra, was a featured artist at the Charleston Jazz Festival, and performed with the Temptations, Four Tops, and Darius Rucker. Jehl is currently the band director at Summit Middle School in Ft. Wayne, Ind., and also assists with the concert and jazz bands at Homestead High School. His professional memberships include the National Association for Music Education, Indiana Bandmasters Association, and the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity.

Jim Catalano has been in the percussion industry since 1978 and first joined Ludwig Musser in 1983. Catalano worked as the marketing manager for Ludwig Musser Percussion from 1983-2014. He received his Master of Music from the University of Notre Dame in 1977, where he was the Graduate Assistant Band Director. Catalano’s Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education is from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (1975). Jim is an active performing percussionist in the area of symphonic band and orchestra, jazz big band, hand percussion and mallet percussion. Catalano currently is performing with The Elkhart Municipal Band, Truth in Jazz and Jazz Assemblage Big Bands, Notre Dame Faculty Jazz Trio, French Quarter and plays vibes with his own jazz quintet, VibeNation. He has also performed on several recordings with The Keystone Wind Ensemble. Catalano has been a clinician at Conn-Selmer Institute from 1998 -2018. In 2018 Catalano taught percussion at Conn-Selmer Institute in Chengdu, China, at The Sichuan Conservatory of Music. He has conducted percussion clinics at The Midwest Clinic – Chicago (2001, 2006, 2012), Texas Music Educators Association (2009, 2014), Pennsylvania MEA (2005), Indiana MEA (2017) and The American Band College in Ashland, OR (2003, 2006, 2013 & 2018). Catalano has facilitated percussion workshops on recreational drumming at libraries, schools, festivals and clubs. Currently Catalano is an adjunct percussion instructor at The University of Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s College in South Bend, Ind. Catalano has received several distinguished awards including The President’s Industry Award from the Percussive Arts Society (1998), The Midwest Music Industry Award from The Midwest Clinic (2010) & The Elkhart Jazz Festival Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors for The Percussive Arts Society and the Planning Committee for The Elkhart Jazz Festival.

Todd Williams hails from among the finest artists in today’s music scene.  Originally known for his saxophone and clarinet work with the Wynton Marsalis Quintet, Septet and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Williams has been honored with such positions as assistant professor at Queens College and music director of Times Square Church. He is presently the assistant professor of music education at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Williams has performed at most every prestigious venue from multiple performances at the White House to Carnegie Hall to the Hollywood Bowl. Extensive recording with Marsalis and guest appearances with such artists as Sir Roland Hanna, the Newburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Grammy Award winner, Christian McBride, decorate his list of accomplishments. Williams is a four-time recipient of ASCAP’s Plus Award for Composers.

Patrick Hession is noted for his extensive work as lead trumpet for Maynard Ferguson. Originally from Lafayette, Ind., Hession has followed a path few have traveled, leading him to the front of the pack. A strong player with an easygoing, pleasant personality, Hession’s extensive range and beautiful tone has allowed him to soar above the stratosphere.

Hession developed his formidable abilities while attending the Universities of Ball State and of Nevada, Las Vegas, on a full scholarship. As well as working with several theme parks, cruise ships and Las Vegas show bands, he was also the lead trumpeter for the Lionel Hampton Big Band and The Glenn Miller Orchestra.

Along with his extensive resume, Hession is an educator and clinician, endorsed by Monette. His method and technique book, “Hession’s Sessions Guide to consistent, reliable, and sometimes, Invincible Chops!” is critically acclaimed. Hession is a goldmine with regard to his perceptive insights in the lead and bravura tradition of trumpet playing.