Jazz at Lincoln Center Announces Essentially Ellington Competition Winners

Bands from Washington, Florida, and Massachusetts take top three spots

Roosevelt High School in Seattle took first place in the Essentially Ellington contest.
Roosevelt High School in Seattle took first place in the 2019 Essentially Ellington contest. (photo: Ayano HIsa/Jazz at Lincoln Center)

Jazz at Lincoln Center has announced the three top-placing high school jazz bands in the nation in the 24th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival.

The first-place winner is Roosevelt High School from Seattle, Washington. The second-place winner is Dillard Center for the Arts from Fort Lauderdale, Florida and third-place winner is Foxboro High School from Foxboro, Massachusetts.   

Beginning on May 9, the 15 finalist high school jazz bands participated in three days of mentoring, jam sessions, and workshops. The competition culminated in a concert where each top-placing band performed with their choice Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra member as a soloist. The concert also featured the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis—whose members served as mentors for the finalist bands throughout the week—performing repertoire made famous by Duke Ellington.

 “We’re fortunate to play Duke Ellington’s music, and we realize that the Duke Ellington legacy is about creativity—we heard and saw that in our young people,” said Jazz at Lincoln Center Managing and Artistic Director Wynton Marsalis. “You lifted our spirits and it’s been our honor.”

Jazz at Lincoln Center also recognized the winner of the 7th Annual J. Douglas White Essentially Ellington Student Composition and Arranging Contest, Miles Lennox of Dillard Center for the Arts (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). Lennox is an alumnus of Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Summer Jazz Academy program and the Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival, where he won Outstanding Soloist for piano. His composition was recorded by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at their annual Essentially Ellington recording session on Wednesday, May 8. In addition, Miles received a $1,000 cash prize, a composition lesson with Ted Nash, and a trip to New York City for the weekend to observe the festival.

The annual Competition & Festival marks the culmination of the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program, which includes non-competitive regional festivals throughout the U.S. and Australia, free transcriptions of the music of Duke Ellington, reference recordings, additional teaching resources, free adjudication, and more. The Essentially Ellington program has reached over 6,600 schools and independent bands in 55 countries.

At the awards ceremony, Wynton Marsalis presented awards to each of the 15 finalist high school jazz bands. Roosevelt High School accepted the first place trophy and an award of $5,000. Dillard Center for the Arts accepted the second place trophy and an award of $2,500. Foxboro High School accepted the third place trophy with an award of $1,000. The remaining twelve bands were each awarded cash prizes of $500. All monetary awards are to be used for improving the jazz education programs of each respective high school.

Advertisement

For more information, including background, history, and audio recordings of the Essentially Ellington repertoire, visit: jazz.org/ee

The Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival is media-accessible via Jazz at Lincoln Center social media on Facebook: www.facebook.com/EssentiallyEllington, Twitter: @EssEllington, Instagram: @jazzdotorg.

A complete list of award winners follows:

Section Awards

OUTSTANDING RHYTHM SECTION:

Newark Academy
Dillard Center for the Arts
Foxboro High School

OUTSTANDING SAXOPHONE SECTION:

Foxboro High School

OUTSTANDING BRASS SECTION:

Rio Americano High School
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
Roosevelt High School

OUTSTANDING TROMBONE SECTION:

Sun Prairie High School
Roosevelt High School
Dillard Center for the Arts
Foxboro High School
William H. Hall High School
Garfield High School

OUTSTANDING TRUMPET SECTION:

Denver School of the Arts
Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
Foxboro High School
Dillard Center for the Arts
Roosevelt High School
Beloit Memorial High School

HONORABLE MENTION PIANO:

Luca Moretti – Newark Academy
Aaron Korver – Roosevelt High School
Sam Hanson – Tarpon Springs High School

OUTSTANDING PIANO:

Mitchell Galligan – Denver School of the Arts
Kallan Engleson – Sun Prairie High School
Miles Lennox – Dillard Center for the Arts

HONORABLE MENTION BASS:

Will Jammes – Garfield High School
Aviel Delrosario – Dillard Center for the Arts
Gavin Gray – William H. Hall High School

OUTSTANDING BASS:

Vikram Bala – Newark Academy
Will Hazelhurst – Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
John Murray – San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts

HONORABLE MENTION GUITAR:

Megan Cody – Denver School of the Arts
Jack Graves – Garfield High School

OUTSTANDING GUITAR:

Brennen Ravenberg – William H. Hall High School
Tyler Feldman – Garfield High School

HONORABLE MENTION DRUMS:

Henry Mohr – Roosevelt High School
Joel Anderson – Dillard Center for the Arts
Corey Hall – Foxboro High School
Liam Sweeney – Foxboro High School
Meghan Lock – Tarpon Springs High School

HONORABLE MENTION VIBRAPHONE:

Alec Streete – Denver School of the Arts
Nate Mesler – Roosevelt High School
Ben Dunham – Tarpon Springs High School

HONORABLE MENTION CLARINET:

Allen Lin – Newark Academy
Val Barrieau – William H. Hall High School

OUTSTANDING CLARINET:

Toby Keys – Rio Americano High School
Victor Lawton – Dillard Center for the Arts

HONORABLE MENTION ALTO SAXOPHONE:

Connor Ettinger – Rio Americano High School
Andrew Long – Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
Megan Rault – Sun Prairie High School
Liam Vargas – Dillard Center for the Arts
Chris Faison – Tarpon Springs High School
Avinash Chung – Garfield High School

OUTSTANDING ALTO SAXOPHONE:

Michael Wang – Newark Academy
Tiger Diep – San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts

HONORABLE MENTION TENOR SAXOPHONE:

Jackson Beymer – Mount Si High School
Michael Hussey – Foxboro High School
Alvin Paige – San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts

OUTSTANDING TENOR SAXOPHONE:

Jonathan Downs – Middleton High School
Roland Burnot – Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
George Fulton – Roosevelt High School
Noah Yonteff Mathog – William H. Hall High School
Noah Poepping – Beloit Memorial High School
Aidan Siemann – Garfield High School

OUTSTANDING BARITONE SAXOPHONE:

Andrew Stine – Middleton High School
Nick Altemeier – Roosevelt High School

HONORABLE MENTION DOUBLER:

Daniel Reichert – Tarpon Springs High School (Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone)

OUTSTANDING DOUBLER:

Chris Ferrari – Denver School of the Arts (Clarinet & Tenor Saxophone)
Eli Sullivan – Roosevelt High School (Soprano & Alto Saxophone)

OUTSTANDING TRIPLER:

Connor Hoyt – Foxboro High School (Clarinet, Soprano & Alto Saxophone)

HONORABLE MENTION TROMBONE:

Sam Keedy – Denver School of the Arts
Jack Bendure – Denver School of the Arts
James Kolke – Mount Si High School
Tyler Stoll – Sun Prairie High School
Geneva Raymond – Foxboro High School

OUTSTANDING TROMBONE:

Elise Toney – Roosevelt High School
Charles Blagrove – Dillard Center for the Arts
Eli Heinen – William H. Hall High School
August Braatz – Beloit Memorial High School

OUTSTANDING BASS TROMBONE:

Gavin Baker – William H. Hall High School

HONORABLE MENTION TRUMPET:

Emerson Borg – Triangle Youth Jazz Ensemble
Keon Gooding – Dillard Center for the Arts
Naomi Patten – Beloit Memorial High School
Sylvester Saliba – Tarpon Springs High School

OUTSTANDING TRUMPET:

Grady Flamm – Rio Americano High School
Will Knight – Roosevelt High School
Carter Eng – Roosevelt High School
Summer Camargo – Dillard Center for the Arts
Adam Hobson – Beloit Memorial High School

HONORABLE MENTION VOCALS:

Samantha Powell – Newark Academy
Sage Eisenhour – Mount Si High School

OUTSTANDING VOCALS:

Kaleen Barton – Tarpon Springs High School

ELLA FITZGERALD OUTSTANDING SOLOIST AWARD:

John Murray – San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts

Second place finishers from the Dillard Center for the Arts, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (photo: Ayano Hisa/Jazz at Lincoln Center)
Third place finishers from Foxboro High School, Foxboro, Mass. (photo: Ayano Hisa/Jazz at Lincoln Center)