Alhough Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace High Schools weren’t chosen as one of the top three jazz bands during the 22nd annual Essentially Ellington Festival and Competition, individual students from each school were recognized for outstanding performances in New York City Saturday evening.
The top three placing bands were Tucson Jazz Institute (Arizona), first place; Denver School of the Arts (Colorado), second place and Dillard Center for the Arts (Florida), third place.
Edmonds-Woodway’s reed section was recognized with an honorable mention. E-W’s Jack Hillman received an award for outstanding on the trombone while Kyle Bainbridge earned honorable mention on the baritone saxophone.
Mountlake Terrace High School’s Gian Neri received an honorable mention for guitar and MTHS’ Dylon Rajah was named as outstanding tenor saxophone. Additionally, the Terrace brass section was recognized with an honorable mention.
MTHS senior Andrew Sumabat, who played trombone, trumpet and tenor saxophone, received a special award titled “The Trippler.” Winners of this award are soloists who perform on three different instruments in an outstanding manner. “Now let me tell you about this winner,” said head judge and trumpet player Wynton Marsalis. “This kid has done something we’ve never seen before. He has played instruments from different families, yet played them each with their own sound.” He joked about offering Sumabat a gig. “After you pulled out that tenor, I thought to myself, ‘well you’ve gotta play trumpet next,'” Marsalis said.
To close out the competition, the directors of all 15 bands were brought up on stage and recognized for their participation in the festival.
“A lot of sacrifice is required to get you guys here.” Marsalis said. “[Directors] take out kids by the hand and arm them for the future… they help them to understand that it’s okay to be themselves. They help them to understand to be creative, and to understand that others are creative and how to work with each other and accept that.”
— Story by Praditha Halstead and Harper Thomas and photos by Harper Thomas, Mountlake Terrace High School Hawkeye
MLTnews is collaborating with the Hawkeye, which has sent two student journalists to cover the Jazz I band competition at Essentially Ellington.