Seattle Times: Seattle Schools Continue Decade of Dominance at Essentially Ellington


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Another year at Essentially Ellington, another triumph for Seattle bands.

Garfield High School won here and Roosevelt placed second in the 2009 festival, the top high-school jazz-band contest in the country, which wrapped up here last Sunday.

“We kind of chuckle that people are going to get tired of seeing Garfield and Roosevelt all the time,” said Scott Brown, the band director at Roosevelt High School, which is located within five miles of Garfield.

It’s been quite a decade for Seattle-area schools. In 2000, the fifth year of the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, Roosevelt placed third and Garfield received an honorable mention. Entrance into the competition had only been opened to schools in the West the year before, and the talent was already weighted toward the Northwest.

How much talent? Also in 2000, Mountlake Terrace and Shorewood were among the finalists. And so began a the decade of dominance by high schools from familiar ZIP codes. Newport, Kentlake, Edmonds-Woodway, Shoreline, even tiny South Whidbey have all taken turns going to New York — and many went more than once.

But it would be Roosevelt and Garfield that emerged as the standard-bearers.

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This story appears courtesy of Seattle Jazz Scene.
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