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Essentially Ellington Winners!

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NORTH AMERICA'S BEST HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BANDS!

JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER
ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF ITS

11th ANNUAL ESSENTIALLY ELLINGTON HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ BAND COMPETITION & FESTIVAL



1st Place: Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble 1, Jacksonville, Florida.

2nd Place: Battle Ground High School Jazz Band, Battle Ground, Washington.

3rd Place: Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble, Seattle, Washington. New York, NY (May 20, 2006) Tonight, three high school jazz bands took top honors in Jazz at Lincoln Center's 11th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Each band was chosen by a panel of judges composed of distinguished jazz musicians - WYNTON MARSALIS, Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director; Music Director, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, DAVID BAKER; composer, conductor, and Ellington authority DAVID BERGER; and author, composer, and conductor GUNTHER SCHULLER- from among the 15 finalist bands from the U.S. that came to the Competition & Festival on May 18, 19, & 20, 2006.

Essentially Ellington culminated in tonight's concert at Avery Fisher Hall, at which each of the three top-placing bands performed two Ellington compositions, one alone and one with Jon Faddis, as guest soloist. Conductor, composer and educator, Mr. Faddis is the Director of the Chicago Jazz Ensemble and studied under the great Dizzy Gillespie. The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra then performed a set of Ellington compositions that Jazz at Lincoln Center will distribute to high schools for Essentially Ellington 2007.

At the awards ceremony, Wynton Marsalis, presented prizes to each of the 15 finalist bands. Ace Martin, director of the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts Jazz Ensemble I, accepted the 1st place trophy and award of $1,000. Greg McKelvey, director of the Battle Ground High School Jazz Band accepted the 2nd place trophy and award of $750. Clarence Acox, director of the Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble I, accepted the 3rd place trophy and award of $500. Agoura High School Jazz Band A was named honorable mention and was awarded $350. The remaining 10 bands were awarded certificates of merit and awards of $250 each. All monetary awards go toward improving schools' jazz programs. Awards for outstanding soloists and sections were also presented (see attached listing for details). For the eigth year in a row, Jazz at Lincoln Center also presented the Ella Fitzgerald Vocalist Award, made possible by a grant from the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation.

In addition, Jazz at Lincoln Center recognized winners in the fifth Essentially Ellington Essay Contest. The contest invited students from all participating high schools to submit an essay describing a personal experience with Jazz. Jazz at Lincoln Center received fifty-seven essays from which esteemed historian, author, editor, archivist, and Director of the Institute of Jazz Studies at Rutgers University DAN MORGENSTERN chose the winners. As the 1st place winner for the winning essay entitled “Joy," Jamie Utphall was invited to name a seat in Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center, and read her essay at the opening of the festival on Thursday, May 18, 2006.

Essentially Ellington is the largest of the over 450 events that Jazz at Lincoln Center will produce this year. This unique music education program has provided original arrangements of Duke Ellington's music to over 200,000 high school musicians in more than 3,500 schools nationwide in its eleven-year history. Essentially Ellington has produced and distributed over 50,000 copies of 66 previously unavailable scores. 78 finalist bands have come to New York City to compete in the annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival.

The 15 finalists for Essentially Ellington 2006 are:

Agoura High School, Agoura Hills, CA
Calabasas High School, Calabasas, CA
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, Los Angeles, CA
Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, CA
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, Jacksonville, FL
Sioux City North High School, Sioux City, IA
Lake Zurich High School, Lake Zurich, IL
Shawnee Mission East High School, Prairie Village, KS
Lexington High School, Lexington, MA
Wellesley High School, Wellesley, MA
State College Area High School, State College, PA
Battle Ground High School, Battle Ground, WA
Newport High School, Bellevue, WA
Garfield High School, Seattle, WA
Roosevelt High School, Seattle, WA

2006 COMPETITION & FESTIVAL WEEKEND
The three-day festival began on Thursday, May 18 when the finalist bands arrive at Frederick P. Rose Hall for “One-On-One With Wynton Marsalis," a reading by the essay contest winner, workshops, rehearsals, a banquet dinner, Ellington Alumni conversation and jam sessions with members of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra (LCJO). The three-part competition was in Rose Theater on Friday, May 19 at 3pm and Saturday, May 20 at 10am and 1pm. The panel of judges included Jazz at Lincoln Center Artistic Director WYNTON MARSALIS; Music Director, Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, DAVID BAKER; composer, conductor, and Ellington authority DAVID BERGER; and author, composer, and conductor GUNTHER SCHULLER. This panel judged each band's performance of three Ellington works. At the May 20th, 7:30pm Concert and Awards Ceremony in Avery Fisher Hall, the three top-placing bands performed alone and with Jon Faddis as soloist, followed by the LCJO performing an all-Ellington set and the culminating awards ceremony honoring outstanding soloists and sections and the three top-placing bands.

COMPETITION OVERVIEW
Each year, Jazz at Lincoln Center selects and transcribes original arrangements of several Duke Ellington compositions, which are published by Alfred Publications. The six selections for 2006, which reflect the variety of styles and forms in Ellington's body of work, are: Across the Track Blues, All Too Soon, Braggin' in Brass, Idiom '59 - Part II from “Idiom '59", I'm Just a Lucky So and So, and Latin American Sunshine from “Latin American Suite". These arrangements are distributed for a $60 registration fee to all high school jazz bands that express interest in the program by returning an application card.

Of the more than 900 bands that received this year's six compositions and educational materials, 97 submitted recordings of three of those compositions to enter the competition. These recordings were evaluated in a blind screening by jazz education experts DAVID BERGER, RONALD CARTER, LOREN SCHOENBERG and REGINALD THOMAS. The 15 finalists were selected based on the criteria of: soulfulness, rhythm section, soloing/improvisation, interpretation, and basic musicianship/technique. In addition, they were each evaluated within one of three competitive categories. Each band that sent in a recording received a detailed critique of their performance and a certificate signed by Wynton Marsalis. In Category A, 74 school groups who were not finalists in the past two years competed for 10 finalist slots. In Category B, 20 school groups who were finalists in EE 2004 or 2005 competed for five finalist slots.

Category C is for conglomerate groups, those made up of students from more than one school. There were three submissions in Category C, and the winning group receives a workshop with a clinician from Jazz at Lincoln Center. This year, the Eastman Youth Jazz Orchestra took home the Conglomerate Band Award.

Throughout April 2006, Jazz at Lincoln Center sent, free of charge, a professional musician to each of the 15 finalist schools to lead an intensive day-long workshop of rehearsals, lessons, and master classes. The clinicians included trumpeter TERELL STAFFORD; reed players RONALD CARTER and LOREN SCHOENBERG; bassist RODNEY WHITAKER and pianist ARTURO O'FARRILL. During the Festival, each finalist band is paired with a Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra member as a mentor.

HISTORY
Essentially Ellington disseminates Duke Ellington compositions to high school jazz bands, encourages the study and performance of Ellington's music, and fosters mentoring relationships between students and professional musicians. The program has experienced major growth in its 11 years; open originally, in 1996, to schools in the New York tri-state area, it expanded to 13 states and D.C. in 1997 and then to all 26 states east of the Mississippi River in 1998. In 1999, during the Ellington Centennial, the program opened up to all 50 states and U.S. territories. In 2000, Jazz at Lincoln Center inaugurated an annual companion program, the Band Director Academy. In 2001, Essentially Ellington expanded to include high school jazz bands from throughout Canada. During the summer of 2005, the Band Director Academy expanded to two locations. In March 2006, for the first time, two non-competitive Essentially Ellington regional high school jazz band festivals were held. One at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra members Vincent Gardner and Sean Jones, past Essentially Ellington finalist band director Steve Sveum, UNC Chapel Hill faculty member Thomas Taylor and director of jazz studies Terell Stafford led clinics. The second festival was at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, where Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra member Wycliffe Gordon, Essentially Ellington finalist band director and winner Scott Brown, pianist Bill Cunliffe, drummer Steve Fydick and saxophonist Jim Snidero, served as clinicians. Each band performed three pieces (one Ellington and two others of their choice) and received a workshop on playing Ellington's music.

PROGRAM TIMELINE
Fall 2005
All bands receive six Ellington scores and educational materials
February 1, 2006
Competition recordings due
February 13
Essay Contest submissions due
March 2
15 finalists announced
March 2
Essentially Ellington North Carolina Regional High School Jazz Band Festival at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
March 10
Essentially Ellington Eastern Regional High School Jazz Band Festival at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
March 15
Essay Contest winners announced
March 31
Comments only recordings due
April
Free workshops in finalist schools by JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER musicians May 18-20
11th Annual Essentially Ellington Festival in New York City
July 6-8
Band Director Academy at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
July 13-15
Band Director Academy at Jazz at Lincoln Center, New York, NY

High school jazz band directors seeking more information on Essentially Ellington should contact Jonas Cartano, Education Associate, at (212) 258-9812 or ee@jalc.org.

2006 AWARDS

FIRST PLACE
Douglas Anderson School of the ArtsJazz Ensemble I

SECOND PLACE
Battle Ground High School Jazz Band

THIRD PLACE
Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble

HONORABLE MENTION BANDS
Agoura High School Jazz Band A

OUTSTANDING SOLOISTS

On Clarinet
Calabasas High School - Shanley Wang
Agoura High School - Daniel Janklow
Rio Americano High School - Adam Ballanti
Roosevelt High School - Alex Dugdale
Sioux City North High School - Willie Lohry

On Alto Saxophone
Calabasas High School - Mark Einhorn
Lexington High School - Ben Bautz
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- Bryan Susman
Roosevelt High School - Logan Strosahl
State College Area High School - Greg Johnson

On Tenor Saxophone
Battle Ground High School - Zachary Ferguson
Garfield High School - Andrew Mulherkar
Garfield High School - Joel Gombiner
Garfield High School - Devin Mooers
Lake Zurich High School - Jim Schram
Lexington High School - Sam Mehr
Sioux City North High School - Steve Lambert

On Trumpet
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts - Jeron Fruge
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- Emile Martinez

On Trombone
Battle Ground High School - Scott Bay
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts - T.J. Norris
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts - Corey Wilcox
Garfield High School - Samuel Schlosser
Shawnee Mission East High School - Nathan Lane

On Piano
Agoura High School - Jordan Seigel
Calabasas High School - Shanley Wang
Calabasas High School - Shani Shousterman
Lexington High School - Malcolm Campbell
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- Kristopher Bowers

Vocals
Calabasas High School - Mallory Glaser
State College Area High School - Sarah Shafer

On Bass
Garfield High School - Allison Wood
Lexington High School - Zack Nestel-Patt
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- Jonathan Richards

On Guitar
Newport High School - Ryan Clodfelter
Shawnee Mission East High School - Corey Waldman

Honorable Mention on Guitar
Lake Zurich High School - Sam Kasprowicz

Honorable Mention on Piano
Sioux City North High School - Katerina Belkin
Wellesley High School - Will Beaman
Garfield High School - Benjamin Hamaji

Honorable Mention on Trombone
Shawnee Mission East High School - Patrick Montgomery

Honorable Mention on French Horn
Agoura High School - Matt Bronstein On Tuba
Lexington High School - Josiah Reibstein

Honorable Mention on Alto Saxophone
Los Angeles County High School for the Arts- Daniel Richardson

Honorable Mention on Trumpet
Garfield High School - Zubin Hensler
Rio Americano High School - Justin Au
Roosevelt High School - Charlie Fisher
Sioux City North High School - John Pritchard

Honorable Mention on Baritone Saxophone
Battle Ground High School - Matthew Hokanson Garfield High School - Zachary Hughes
Roosevelt High School - Sam Sidoine

Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Vocalist Awards:
(made possible by Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation):
Roosevelt High School - Isabella du Graf

OUTSTANDING SECTIONS

Reeds
Calabasas High School
Lexington High School

Trombones
Battle Ground High School
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts
Newport High School

Trumpets
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

Pep Section
Douglas Anderson School of the Arts

Rhythm Section
Battle Ground High School


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