Dakota Combo

Each year offers different opportunities for members of the Dakota Combo, an audition-based group of the region’s top high school jazz musicians. Up to eight musicians are offered scholarships for a year of serious extra-curricular jazz study and performance in partnership with the MacPhail Center for Music. Past combos have produced their own recordings, received the Mingus Spirit Award at the Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival in New York, and performed at jazz venues throughout and beyond the Twin Cities.¬†Open auditions are held each year in early September, resulting in new instrumentation and a fresh sound every year. Interested musicians are encouraged to participate in other jazz education opportunities in preparation for future Combo auditions.

2013-14 Dakota Combo

2013-14 Dakota Combo

The student musicians of the 2013-2014 Dakota Combo are (pictured above from left to right):

  • Will Kjeer, piano, Home School/PSEO
  • Levi Schwartzberg, vibes, Minneapolis Southwest High School
  • Aidan Sponheim, trumpet, Minneapolis Southwest High School
  • Sam Worthington, bass, Mounds View High School
  • Ben Ehrlich, drums, Wayzata High School
  • Peter Goggin, alto sax, Mounds View High School
  • Jack Courtright, trombone, Apple Valley High School


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