The Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Ensemble I has been selected to participate in the ninth annual Swing Central Jazz High School Jazz Band Competition & Workshop in Savannah, Georgia next March. The MTHS Jazz Ensemble was one of just 12 high school jazz bands from across the country invited to the event.
The jazz competition and workshop is part of the 25th anniversary season of the Savannah Music Festival, a 17-day run of concerts, special performances, seminars and other productions in the historic and scenic city on the Atlantic Coast.
High school bands selected to compete will begin their three days at the festival in various workshops and clinics put on by 23 prestigious musicians and educators, including Jim Ketch, Director of Jazz Studies at the University of North Carolina, and Marcus Roberts, pianist and composer.
“We are excited to welcome some of America’s finest young jazz musicians and their band directors to Swing Central Jazz in March,” said Roberts, who also serves as the competition’s Associate Artistic Director. “Their hard work and dedication has brought them this far and we look forward to working with them to unlock some of the perceived mysteries of this great art form. I look forward to this time in Savannah every year.”
Participating bands will be showcased in public performances around Savannah March 26 and 27, then come together for a day-long competition on March 28. The three top-scoring bands each receive an honorarium – $5,000 for first place, $2,500 for second place and $1,000 for third place – and will perform in the opening set of a big Savannah Music Festival concert later that same evening.
Joining the MTHS Jazz Ensemble I at the competition will be two other bands from the Puget Sound area, the Ballard High School Jazz Band and Newport High School Jazz I, and bands from Montana, California, Colorado, Michigan, Indiana, Tennessee and Florida.
Students from the MTHS Music Department have been fundraising in anticipation of possibly being selected to go to Savannah, but more funds are needed to insure the trip will occur. Anyone wishing to donate can do so by sending a check, made out to the MTHS Music Boosters, to P.O. Box 474, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043.