Skip to main content

Valley students perform at international conference

(From left to right) ASU Herberger College at Large Latin Jazz Ensemble members Jacob Sieckman, Paul-Eirik Melhus, Zack Gillespie, Cody Rowlands and Vince Kaufman.

Photo courtesy of Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

February 04, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. – Twelve Valley students who participated in the Summer 2007 Latin Jazz Workshop at ASU Herberger College at Large were selected by the International Association for Jazz Education (IAJE) to perform at its 35th international conference in Toronto this January. The conference is the world’s largest gathering of jazz educators, musicians, students and industry representatives. 

This was the first time the Herberger College at Large group submitted to perform at the internationally recognized conference. They were selected from among dozens of international entries and performed on Jan. 10 at the Toronto Convention Centre. Michael Kocour, director of jazz studies in the ASU Herberger College School of Music, led the group efforts.

“We heard the students rehearse on numerous occasions, but at the conference, they played at a level higher than any rehearsal or performance we’ve heard before,” Kocour says. “Clearly they had something they saved to make this performance exceptional.”

The Latin Jazz Workshop is an annual summer workshop conducted by Herberger College at Large, a community program of ASU Herberger College of the Arts. Each year, nearly 50 junior high and high school students participate in large and small combos taught by Kocour and other School of Music faculty and graduate students.

“We are in a unique position to draw from the ASU Herberger College of the Arts faculty and graduate students to teach community members preschool to teen to adults,” says Cathy Fletcher, director of Herberger College at Large & for Kids. “Our kids being selected for an event of this magnitude is an indicator of the caliber of our instructors.”

Herberger College at Large & for Kids now is enrolling for its summer programs. Enrollment continues through June 2 as space is available. For more information, call 480.727.0700, or visit

Award-winning ASU professors, educators and community artists teach classes for aspiring artists, from the serious the high school arts student to adults and kids from preschool to teen. Classes in art, dance, music and theatre taught in the Herberger College at Large & for Kids, inspire the artist within. The colleges are a community program of the Herberger College of the Arts at ASU. To learn more, call 480.727.0700, or visit or 

Media Contact:
Laura Toussaint