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Middle School Student Musicians Perform/Learn with Professional Jazz Musicians

January 19, 2018, San Jose, CA:  Middle School student musicians from Easterbrook Discovery (EDS) and Moreland Middle Schools (MMS) had the unique opportunity to play alongside professional jazz musicians at Moreland’s Annual Jazz Workshop on Thursday evening, January 18, 2018.  Led by Moreland music teachers, Nils Johnson and Greg Bergantz, middle school jazz musicians listened to performances, played with, and then separated into instrumental groups to get one on one coaching by these industry experts.

“This is an incredibly extraordinary opportunity,” said Superintendent Mary Kay Going.  “Moreland’s middle school music program is among the best in the region and workshops like this expose children to music professionals of the highest caliber.”

Moreland’s Jazz Workshop was proud to include the following nationally acclaimed musicians :

  • Jeff Lewis, Trumpet:  Jeff is a Grammy-award winning musician who has played with Boz Skaggs, BB King, Huey Lewis and more.

  • Kristen Strom, Alto and Tenor Saxophones: Kristen is a music instructor at Santa Clara University, a faculty member of the Stanford Jazz Workshop, and the Director of South Bay Summer Intensive.  Kristen has performed with Roberta Flack, Natalie Cole and SF Beach Blanket Babylon, to name a few.

  • Scott Sorkin, Guitar:  Scott is a member of the faculty for the Stanford Jazz Workshop, taught clinics throughout the US and Canada, clinician for San Jose Jazz, Valley Christian High School and a faculty member of SJ Summer Jazz Camp.  

  • Wally Schnalle, Drums:  Wally performs and teaches in many genres, including Latin, funk, and rock.  Wally has 9 CDs of original compositions in release.  Wally was awarded a compositional commission from the Santa Clara University School of Music & Dance and has worked with DRUM! Magazine as Music Editor and columnist for almost 20 years.

  • Murray Low, Piano:  Murray is a Grammy-nominated pianist who has performed, taught and composed for over 26 years.  He has held teaching positions at UC Berkeley, Stanford, San Jose, State, Cal State Monterey Bay, University of Wisconsin, Cal State Sonoma, Jazzcamp West and the Monterey Jazz Youth Program.  Murray is a regular pianist with John Santos’ Machete Ensemble, Pete Escovedo Orchestra, and appears on over 40 jazz recordings.

  • Greg Bergantz, Moreland Middle Music Teacher, Trombone:  Greg is in his 10th year teaching at Moreland Middle School, his 16th year performing in a local brass quintet, the Oxford Street Brass, and his 28th year as a music director and conductor of the San Jose Metropolitan Band.  Greg has also guest conducted the South Valley Symphony, the San Jose Symphony Youth Orchestras, the Glendale Symphony Youth Orchestra, and over 60 chamber orchestra performances in Los Angeles.  

  • Nils Johnson, Easterbrook Discovery/Latimer Music Teacher, Bass:  Nils is in his 21st year as a public school music teacher and has played bass for over 40 years. Nils has recorded and performed with such artists as Ray Charles, Bob Hope, Stevie Wonder & the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, in addition to recording for film and TV.

For clips of last night’s Jazz Performances, visit our Facebook page at:

Attached Files

The Governing Board is committed to equal opportunity for individuals in education. District programs, activities, and practices shall be free from discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, or genetic information; the perception of one or more of such characteristics or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics. The Board shall promote programs which ensure that discriminatory practices are eliminated in all district activities. (BP 0410)

Title IX Coordinator Contact Information:

Jennifer Baldwin, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources,

For information or complaints regarding Title IX, click here