As they have for the past 19 years, West Virginia University Jazz ensembles will again be performing at this year’s Wine & Jazz Festival when it opens at Camp Muffly, on Saturday, Sept. 8.

According to Paul Scea, director of jazz studies in the WVU School of Music, it is tradition for the WVU jazz ensembles to open the festival.

“For the past 19 years, WVU music students have also benefitting from festival proceeds in the form of music scholarships,” Scea said.

Scea is an original board member of the festival and still serves on the board today, along with WVU School of Music Director Keith Jackson and many other people from the Morgantown community.

WVU music alumnus James Moore, a well-known trumpet player in the region, is also a member of the board, as is David Bell, WVU music librarian, and his wife Nancy Bell.

The festival was founded as a way to highlight regional wineries, local restaurants, musical groups and artisans.

Scea, also associate director of World Music at WVU, is an internationally known jazz, new music and Rhythm & Blues musician, known for his creative improvising on a variety of saxophones, clarinets and flutes, as well as laptop and the MIDI Wind Controller.

He has also played his share of mainstream jazz and has performed with hundreds of nationally known jazz and pop artists. He often performs at the Wind & Jazz Festival with his students.

“We are honored to be a part of the Wine & Jazz Festival. It is an awesome experience for our students and gives them a chance to perform before a large crowd,” he said.

“Often this is the largest crowd for which they have ever played—it’s usually about 2,000 people at the height of it. Historically, the biggest crowd is on Saturday, which is when most WVU students attend, but it depends on the weather.

“This gives our music students experience in performing in a festival situation, experience performing on stage, and also a chance to perform their own original music.

“It is also an opportunity for us to give back to the festival,” he added. “The Festival has been very generous to music students at WVU over the years.”

West Virginia Wine and Jazz Fest, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that seeks to return the proceeds from the annual festival back to the community in various ways.

During the past 19 years, the festival has contributed money to various WVU programs and organizations including:

WVU’s Epsilon Sigma chapter of Phi Mu Alpha, a music honorary/service fraternity. Phi Mu Alpha members frequently engage in volunteer activities throughout the Morgantown area.

WVU’s Omicron Chapter of Kappa Kappa Psi, the national band fraternity, which serves various WVU bands, including the Mountaineer Marching Band, the WVU Wind Ensemble, the Symphonic and Concert bands, the Jazz bands and the Pep band.

WVU’s Eta Tau Chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota, a music honorary/service sorority which is active in music education activities and outreach in the greater Morgantown area.

The WVU Jazz Club seeks to enhance jazz performance and educational activities in WVU’s Jazz Studies area. This student-directed club also supports live jazz music performances in the greater Morgantown area.

Donations from the Wine & Jazz Festival also go toward endowed music scholarships, which assist West Virginia students seeking a degree in jazz studies at WVU, and toward funding student travel for performance opportunities.

“Over the years, these scholarships have benefitted many students,” Scea said. “They are passed down. Once a student graduates and moves on, someone else receives the scholarship. It has had an impact on a lot of people, not only in the jazz studies program, but in other areas of the School of Music and in the WVU Community Music Program.

“The scholarships have helped people do things they would not have been able to do otherwise, such as travel or take private lessons.”

He said the Wine & Jazz Festival funding also supports WVU’s “Music in the Schools” program, which sends groups of music students to public elementary and secondary schools all over the state, to perform workshops and concerts.

“The Wine & Jazz Festival provides the main source of funding for this program, which is an important part of the education of young people in West Virginia,” he said.

The WVU jazz ensembles will open this year’s festival at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8. For more information, visit

See Paul Scea and a WVU student jazz group at Wine & Jazz Festival (2008):


CONTACT: Charlene Lattea, College of Creative Arts

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