Music festival returning to Ritz

More than two dozen groups of high school musicians and singers are to converge at The Ritz Theatre when Tiffin University hosts its 16th annual ProMusic Festival Thursday and Friday.

Formerly Tiffin’s first jazz festival, this annual educational gathering expanded two years ago to also incorporate rock, blues, soul, rythym and blues and electronica.

School instrumental and vocal groups are to perform 8 a.m.-4 p.m. both days on the main stage at The Ritz with nationally-renowned music educators serving as judges and clinicians. Former festival performers have gone on to professional success.

The featured artist for Thursday is the Chicago-based band, The Right Now. Their brand of soul music is meant to harken to Memphis and Detroit of the 1960s. Lead vocalist Stefanie Berecz is backed by a three-piece horn section and a rhythm section of guitar, keyboard, bass and drums.

TU’s horn band DFX and hip-hop combo Sound and Silence serve as opening acts for The Right Now’s concert at 7:30 p.m. to culminate the day of educational sessions and performances by high school jazz bands.

Friday, the Nashville vocal group Breath of Soul is to perform a cappella versions of classic and current pop music. Winners of Harmony Sweepstakes competitions in Chicago and Washington, D.C., Breath of Soul recently opened for Lady Antebellum.

The opening acts for Breath of Soul are TU’s a cappella groups Up in the Air and Higher Ground. The concert is at 7:30 p.m. Friday to conclude the workshops for high school vocal groups.

Thursday’s lineup

9:20 a.m., Woodmore HS Jazz Band.

10 a.m., Columbian HS Jazz Band.

10:40 a.m., Seneca East HS Tiger Jazz Band.

11:20 a.m., Fremont Ross HS Jazz Ensemble.

Noon, Lancaster HS Swinging Gales II.

12:40 p.m., Hopewell-Loudon HS Chieftones.

1:20 p.m., Sandusky HS Blue Notes.

2 p.m., Olmsted Falls HS Blue Dog Jazz Band.

2:40 p.m., Ashland University Jazz Orchestra.

3:20 p.m., Lancaster HS Swinging Gales I.

4 p.m., Tiffin University Afrofunk Arkestra.

7:30 p.m., Concert by The Right Now with TU’s DFX and Sound & Silence.

Friday’s lineup

8:25 a.m., Hardin Northern HS Awakened Commotion.

8:50 a.m., New Riegel HS Jacket Company.

9:15 a.m., Fremont Ross HS Select Vocal Ensemble.

9:40 a.m., Oak Harbor HS 3rd Inversion.

10:05 a.m., Napoleon HS Jazz Choir.

10:30 a.m., Olentangy Orange HS Above The Noise.

10:55 a.m., Upper Sandusky HS Upper Class.

11:20 a.m., North Olmsted HS Coming Attractions.

11:45 a.m., New Haven HS Sweet Dissonance.

12:10 p.m., Olentangy Orange HS Sunkist.

12:35 p.m., Snider HS Synergy II.

1 p.m., Canton South HS Sound of South.

1:25 p.m., Buckeye HS Upbeat.

1:50 p.m., North Olmsted HS Special Edition.

2:15 p.m., Snider HS Synergy I.

2:40 p.m., Eastlake HS Northern Lights.

3:05 p.m., Olmsted Falls HS Golden Expressions.

3:30 p.m., Tiffin University Vox Conspiracy, Wildfire.

7:30 p.m., Concert by Breath of Soul with TU’s Higher Ground & Up in the Air.