Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Band wins top honors at Newport Jazz Festival

Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz 1. Jazz Band Director Darin Faul is kneeling row, second from right.

The Mountlake Terrace High School’s Jazz Ensemble 1 took home top honors last Saturday at the Newport Jazz Festival at Newport High School in Bellevue.

Jazz Ensemble 1 won the 3A/4A Division and also won the festival’s Sweepstakes Award, recognized as the best jazz ensemble at the festival. Jazz 1 competed on Saturday evening in the finals along with Bellevue High School, Interlake High School and Shorewood High School. Also finishing the festival strong was Mountlake Terrace High School High School Jazz Ensemble 2, which was a runner-up in Saturday evening’s finals.

Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz 2

“I’m really proud of all the students for their work and progress this year,” said Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Band Director Darin Faul. “We went in with the right attitude, just trying to do our best and not worrying about the results. Of course, it was great to have others recognize the quality of their performances by giving special recognition to so many individuals and inviting both big bands to play in the finals. It was fun to be a part of it.”

Musicians in both MTHS jazz ensembles took home the Outstanding Soloists Award in their respective divisions. Senior Ryan Acheson, alto saxophonist in Jazz Ensemble 1, won the 3A/4A Division and sophomore Jesse Guasch, trumpeter in Jazz Ensemble 2, won the A/AA Division.

Soloist winners Ryan Acheson and Jesse Guasch.

Jazz ensembles competed on Saturday morning and afternoon. Adjudicators selected the top four ensembles from the 3A/4A and top three ensembles from the A/AA Division to compete in Saturday’s finals. Each jazz ensemble performed two songs in Saturday’s finals.

Additional recognition for outstanding performances was given to Jazz Ensemble1 musicians trombonist Bennett Harvey and drummer Gabriel Espitia; and Jazz Ensemble 2 musicians drummer Liam Rees, bassist Ethan Holt, drummer Nigel Denke and trumpeter Sophia Pigott.

Drummer Gabe Espitia performing during the competition.

You can view Saturday’s jazz ensemble performances on the Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz YouTube Channel.

Information about the Mountlake Terrace High School music program, upcoming music concerts, and how to support the music program is found on the Mountlake Terrace High School Music Boosters website.

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