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December, 18, 2024
03:00 PM - 04:00 PM




High School Jazz Ensemble


Conductor Thumb
Mark Eifler

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

The 12 O’Clock Jazz Ensemble is Castle High School's premier jazz ensemble. While the ensemble has existed in some format at Castle High School since the early 2000s, it has been a curricular ensemble rehearsing everyday in class since 2016. The band performs regularly throughout the state of Indiana and was given a special invitation to perform in Pasadena, California at the Tournament of Rose's Presidents Ball in 2023. The 12 O' Clock Jazz Ensemble has won many top ensemble awards at Jazz Festivals. On many occasions, they have been selected as the student ensemble to perform on the evening concert at the Louisville Jazz Festival. Many individual students in the 12 O’Clock Jazz Ensemble have received numerous soloist awards and scholarships as a result of their performance. The 12 O' Clock Jazz Ensemble is the only band in Indiana that has been a finalist in the ISSMA State Jazz Ensemble Finals every year since its inception. They have been selected as the state honor band on two occasions, 2017 and 2021. The 12 O' Clock Jazz Ensemble is known for its up-tempo and lively style, virtuosic soloists, and palpable enthusiasm for the music they perform. The band has invigorated interest in jazz music and enabled many performance opportunities for young jazz musicians and enthusiasts in Southwestern Indiana. The 12 O' Clock Jazz Ensemble regularly partners with local jazz artists and educators as well as occasionally collaborating with more widely known jazz musicians, such as Michael Davis, Vincent DiMartino, and Greg Wing.

Castle High School 12 O' Clock Jazz Ensemble

Conductor's Bio

Mark is currently the director of Jazz Studies at Castle High School and has taught bands, orchestras, jazz ensembles, and marching bands for over 40 years in public schools. He is the director of three jazz ensembles at Castle including two extracurricular jazz ensembles and the award winning 12 O' Clock Jazz Ensemble, which meets every day during the school day. The jazz ensembles have participated in numerous jazz festivals where they have been frequently named the top bands the last ten years. Since the inception of State Jazz Finals in Indiana, the Castle 12 O' Clock Jazz Ensemble is the only band in the state to qualify each year. In 2017 and 2021, the Castle 12 O' Clock Jazz Ensemble was named the State Honor Band at the ISSMA State Jazz Contest. His jazz ensembles have been a regular host for S.E. Shires Music Company clinics in the area performing with such artists as Vince DiMartino, Ben Griffin, Mark Buselli and Michael Davis. As Principal Trombonist of the Evansville Symphonic Band, Mark has served as a soloist for over 15 years. He has served as the instrumental music director of the Crossroads Christian Church where he directed the orchestra, combo ensembles, and the Crossroads Big Band. Mark has performed in a variety of additional setting with a variety of artists including Wayne Newton, The Four Tops, Marie Osmond, The Temptations, The Smothers Brothers, the Rat Pack, Chicago the Musical and The Impressions. As a clinician/artist for S.E. Shires Custom Brass Instruments, he performs on the Michael Davis model custom trombone. Mark is a graduate of Castle High School and Indiana State University and has studied trombone with H. Joseph Owens, Dr. Lewis Van Haney, and Dr. Larry Weed. Mark has studied jazz with John LaBarbera and Mike Tracy, both of University of Louisville, and Dr. John Spicknall of Indiana State University. Mark also performs on conch shells. On a vacation with his family years ago to the Yucatan, he discovered a love of the conch shell as an instrument. Having traveled to that area many times, he has accumulated quite an assortment of pitched authentic shells that he performs with.

Additional Directors

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Grant Winternheimer

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Ethan Wilkinson

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Nikki Miller