Regier plays for local renowned ensemble

Credits fine arts department for training, success



Performing during a time-out, sophomore Eli Regier plays the saxophone as a guest musician with Ilias Revive at a home basketball game.

As one of the youngest musicians in the Mid Kansas Jazz Ensemble, sophomore Eli Regier is a little fish in a big pond. He has played the alto saxophone for over five years, an instrument that was created to be one of the most powerful and vocal of the woodwinds. Regier also plays a variety of other instruments, including the mandolin and guitar.

“The Mid Kansas Jazz Ensemble (MKJE) is a group of the top high school jazz musicians in South-Central Kansas. It is directed by James Pisano who is the director of jazz studies at Bethel College. I am one of five Newton players who auditioned in,” Regier said.

After hearing about the orchestra from his lessons teacher Joel Linscheid, Regier auditioned and got the part. The ensemble has a fall and spring semester, with one concert per semester.

“I usually play with juniors and seniors in high school. We practice every Monday night. I am one of the younger players in the band but I don’t think it makes that much of a difference. We all just try to play the charts as best as we can and we make some great music,” Regier said.

As a talented musician, Regier actively sought out ways to play at a higher level. He also actively looks for ways to push himself and become a better musician.

“I wanted to be in this ensemble mostly because I love jazz and I want to take any opportunities I have to play and experience it,” Regier said. “It’s is also cool to be able to play a different selection of music with different people. However, I still prefer to play with our high school band. We have a great program here.”

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