WMU Jazz Band

Written by Theresa Rose on April 2, 2015

The Winfield-Mt. Union High School Jazz Band came home with their second
trophy in three years after competing in the Iowa State Jazz Championships
in Des Moines Tuesday, March 28.

The group brought home a 5th place trophy in class 1A, tied for the their
highest finish since 1999 when they placed 5th in 2000. The top eight place
finishers of the fifteen schools competing receive trophies. North Mahaska
placed first in the competition. The Wolves finished second to North Mahaska
by less than ten points at Districts held in Iowa City in early March.

Junior Raelen Gipple was selected this year to participate in the 2015 1A/2A
All State Jazz Band on guitar. The All State Jazz Band is made up of the top
musicians from 1A/2A bands from across the state. She will perform in Des
Moines on May 14. The 1A/2A Jazz Band is directed by Bob Long, Director of
Jazz Studies/Saxophone at Missouri Western State University.

The Winfield-Mt. Union Jazz Band consists of eighteen members ranging from
7th grade through 12th grade and is directed by Logan Vander Wiel who is in
his third year at WMU.

Since 1999 the Wolves have qualified for the State Jazz Championships
thirteen times in the past sixteen years. They placed 5th in 2000, 8th in
2001, 8th in 2002, 6th in 2007, 6th in 2013 and 5th in 2015.

This was the fifth straight appearance for the Wolves in the State Jazz
Championships. Seniors Grace Edwards and Riley Heinzel and Juniors Kohlton
Heinzel and Raelen Gipple have been part of the Jazz band’s state qualifying
group for the past five years starting in their Junior High years.

The WMU Jazz Band has a total of 18 members, four of them Junior High.

Band members include:

Seniors: Grade Edwards and Riley Heinzel (fifth straight state appearance
for the seniors who were in 8th grade for their first trip to state)

Juniors: Bryce Gipple, Raelen Gipple, Kohlton Heinzel (fifth year for
juniors Raelen Gipple and Kohlton Heinzel)

Sophomores: Alexis Boal, Olivia Fenton, Ashley Kruse, Trey Newton, Francesca
Rappenecker, Wilson Van Amerongen, Kara Wade.

Freshman: Rayna Buxton, Cecilia Hemsworth.

8th grade: Madison Brady, Mollie Hinkle, Liana Sweezer

7th Grade: Ben Hemsworth

Past History of WMU Jazz Band

1999 – Participant

2000 – 5th

2001 – 8th

2002 – 8th

2003 – Participant

2004 – participant

2007 – 6th

2008 – participant

2011 – participant

2012 – participant

2013 – 6th

2014 – Participant

2015 – 5th