At the Arizona Music Educators Conference February 2 and 3, the RUHS Jazz Band directed by Jeff
Marchant performed as a featured ensemble for a packed audience of music educators. AMEA
Governing Board member Martin Hebda wrote the following to TUSD Leadership about this
…..Having an ensemble perform at the conference is a great honor, however it is not an easy
performance to prepare for. This performance is in front of all of the music educators in the state of
Arizona. This can be a very difficult audience to impress.
The performance was very well attended. Before the conference even began there was a “buzz” about
the RUHS jazz program. The all-state jazz band festival was held earlier in the week. This ensemble is
made up of all of the top jazz students in the state and featured nine RUHS students. This was by far the
most from any school in the state. In fact, the entire saxophone section in the top jazz band was from
RUHS! Because this is such an amazing feat, everyone knew that they needed to see RUHS perform later
in the conference. The RUHS jazz performance delivered an amazing performance. Retired band
directors in the conference were heard saying, “This is the best high school jazz band I have ever
heard!”. I personally sat in the front row and was blown away.
As good as the group was, I was even more impressed with the non-musical aspects from this
program. All of the students showed amazing comradery and support for each other. You could tell that
there was a real connection between the members. It was very refreshing to see. Their director, Jeff
Marchant, was the most humbled person at the conference. He gave all of the credit to the student
musicians, but he deserves just as much praise. The culture of respect and musicianship he has created
in his program is unique and so refreshing.
I am proud to be a colleague of Jeff Marchant.