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      QHS 22nd Showcase of Excellence brings young musicians to Quincy

      Quincy Senior High School hosted its 22nd annual Showcase of Excellence music festival on Saturday. Dozens of up and coming high school musicians and performers had a chance to show off their talents.

      Jazz performances were held in the QHS gym, while all of the show choir competition singers graced the auditorium stage.

      Fort Madison High School Jazz Band trumpeter Kaleb Stuekerjuergen struggled with his nerves before performing his first set."It was kind of scary just because I'm not very good at playing in front of people," Stuekerjuergen said.

      For many, the Showcase of Excellence at Quincy Senior High School is the first chance to perform for a large audience.Stuekerjuergen joined hundreds of students from throughout the Tri-States in the annual competition filling the auditoriums with the sound of their buddingtalent."It's good to play in front of people and to hear other jazz bands, so we know what we can improve on," Stuekerjuergen said.

      Each performance lasted only 15 to 30 minutes, but every group left an impact on the judges."It's fantastic. Everyone's working together and you see the smiles on the faces and they walk away looking at each other going, hey really nice job," jazz performance judge Kevin Nichols said.

      Since Quincy Senior High School hosted the event, none of its choirs or bands were allowed to compete for a trophy.That didn't stop Quincy Senior High Varsity Singers from putting on a vibrant performance."I think we did really well. We performed three songs and were all very energetic. I think the audience liked it," QHS show choir singer Emma Figge said.

      After each performance, judges critique the musicians and gave tips on how to improve their routines."They're learning from these very recognized clinicians who are going to help them be better musicians and make them become better performers as well," Organizer Kathi Dooley said.She says the competition is designed to give students a chance to shake their nerves in live performances."They go through the process of doing all the hard work, they get back a lot and they feel really good about themselves because of all the hard work they've done," Dooley said.

      Stuekerjuergen says even if his band comes in last place, he's happy to have heard many other talented young musicians perform."We did pretty good, our solos were pretty good and we sounded good overall. I think," Stuekerjuergen said.