HCC to host, name jazz fest in tribute to Bryce Luty

By Paige Brier

Bryce Luty, who was a great jazz trumpet player, spent his life helping students develop as jazz musicians.
Bryce Luty, who was a great jazz trumpet player, spent his life helping students develop as jazz musicians.

In honor of the founder of the HCC jazz programs — Bryce Luty — the college will be host its 40th Anniversary Winter Jazz Festival Concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Stringer Fine Arts Center.

It will feature the Concert Jazz Band, HCC Jazz Band and the Bryce Luty All-Star Alumni Big Band. It will include a special guest — jazz singer Glenda Hill.

Luty, 77, passed away on Dec. 9.

HCC is honoring the jazz instructor, whose talents and dedication enriched the lives of many band students for decades.

Luty taught for a year at Marion High School and then moved to McPherson High School, where he taught band and the jazz program for over 13 years. Some of his students continued as professional musicians and music educators.

He then developed a jazz program at HCC. It was the first full jazz program at a college in Kansas.

The two-day HCC Winter Jazz Festival, Jan. 29 and 30, is geared for high school students, with more than 500 students expected to attend, from across Kansas.

The first year for the festival was in 1975; it was called the “HCC Winter Clinic.”

This year, the director of the jazz program, Nick Schroeder, will announce the name change to “Bryce Luty Jazz Festival.”

For this year’s event, HCC has brought together a big band called the “Bryce Luty All-Star Alumni Big Band,” which will include a number of Luty’s past students and co-workers.

HCC band instructor Jeff Pelischek said Luty was a world-class teacher and musician, but also a great person.

“Bryce was one of the most compassionate human beings I have ever met,” Pelischek said.

Schroeder said he is expecting a sold-out show on Jan. 29. Reservations can be made by calling Susan Evans at 620-665-3503. They can be paid for at the door when tickets are picked up.

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