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11th Annual Essentially Ellington Finalists Announced

New York’s Jazz at Lincoln Center announced the 15 finalist bands for the 11th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Finalists were chosen from 97 applicants who submitted three compositions of Ellington’s works to be screened by a blind panel consisting of jazz educators David Berger, Ron Carter, Loren Schoenberg and Reginald Thomas. Applicants for the competition were judged on their soulfulness, rhythm section, soloing/improvisation, interpretation and basic musicianship/technique.

The bands will participate in “One-on-One With Wynton Marsalis” workshops, rehearsals, a banquet dinner, Duke Ellington panel discussions and jam sessions with members of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Bands will perform three of Ellington’s works over two days. The panel will then select three finalists to perform their closing piece with Wynton Marsalis at Avery Fischer Hall on the closing day.

The 15 finalist bands are:

  • Agoura High School, Agoura Hills, Calif.
  • Calabasas High School, Calabasas, Calif.
  • Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, Calif.
  • Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, Calif.
  • Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Jacksonville, Fla.
  • Sioux City North High School, Sioux City, Iowa
  • Lake Zurich High School, Lake Zurich, Ill.
  • Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, Kansas
  • Lexington High School, Lexington, Mass.
  • Wellesley High School, Wellesley, Mass.
  • State College Area High School, State College, Pa.
  • Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, Wash.
  • Newport High School, Bellevue, Wash.
  • Garfield High School, Seattle, Wash.
  • Roosevelt High School, Seattle, Wash.

The winner of Conglomerate Band Workshop is the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra of Rochester, N.Y. The conglomerate bands are made up of several students from more than one high school. The winner of the conglomerate competition will receive a workshop with a musician from the Jazz at Lincoln Center.

The winner among the 15 bands will receive a $1,000 scholarship, second place will receive $750, third place will receive $500 and the rest of the competitors will receive $250.

The 15 bands will perform May 18, 19 and 20. The competition is free and open the public, and tickets are available at the box office. Tickets for the final concert and awards ceremony are $20 and can be purchased by calling (212) 258-9875 or online at www.jazzatlincolncenter.com<.a>

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