Winners of Essentially Ellington 2008 played with Wynton and JLCO

Posted on May 18th, 2008 in Concerts | Tags: concerts, essentially ellington, jazz at lincoln center, jazz at lincoln center orchestra

Two high school jazz bands from Seattle took home the top honors in Jazz at Lincoln Center’s 13th Annual Essentially Ellington competition that culminated with a Saturday night concert where they performed with Wynton Marsalis as guest soloist.
Wynton presented the first-place trophy to Scott Brown, director of the Roosevelt High School Jazz Band, during the awards ceremony and concert at Avery Fisher Hall. Seattle’s Garfield High School Jazz Band took second place, but it boasted the winner of the Outstanding Soloist Award in clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Carl Majeau. The third-place trophy went to the Sun Prairie High School Jazz Band from Wisconsin.

Wynton Marsalis at Essentially Ellington 2008
Wynton judges the performers (photo: Sue Frause on Flickr)

Saturday afternoon, May 17, Wynton announced the top three bands without revealing who won first, second or third. The winner announcement followed the concert later that night, when the top three bands performed with him and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

The Essentially Ellington competition began Thursday with a pep talk from Wynton, followed by workshops and rehearsals with Jazz at Lincoln Center mentors, a banquet and a jam session. Friday’s activities included an open rehearsal with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
At night, students fanned out to jazz clubs and Broadway shows, taking in everything from “Phantom of the Opera” to trumpeter Tom Harrell, at the Village Vanguard.

Garfield High School Jazz Band
Second place: Garfield High School Jazz Band performs (photo: Sue Frause on Flickr)

Student performances were judged by a panel of four: Wynton Marsalis; composer, arranger, conductor and Ellington authority David Berger; Reggie Thomas, a professor of music at Southern Illinois University; and renowned clarinetist and band leader Bob Wilber.
This year, participating bands had a choice of six Ellington compositions to perform, including “Blue Serge,” “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore,” “The Mooche,” and “Theme from ‘The Asphalt Jungle.’”

At Saturday night’s concert, the JALC orchestra performed compositions chosen for next year’s competition that for the first time will feature not only Ellington works but also tunes by Benny Carter, including “Symphony in Riffs” and “Movin’ Uptown.”

Roosevelt High School

Garfield High School

Sun Prairie High School

Shorewood High School


Winner of the Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Soloist Award
Clarinet and Tenor, Garfield High School, Carl Majeau

On Clarinet
Honorable Mention Clarinet:
Stephen F. Austin High School, Stuart Davis
Roosevelt High School, Alex Dugdale

Outstanding Clarinet:
Medfield High School, Erika Santucci

On Alto Saxophone
Honorable Mention Alto Saxophone:
Roosevelt High School, Wyatt Palmer

Outstanding Alto Saxophone:
Mountlake Terrace High School, Jory Tindall
Douglass Anderson School of the Arts, Darren Escar
Sun Prairie High School, Michael Nonte

On Tenor Saxophone
Outstanding Tenor Saxophone:
Mountlake Terrace High School, Ben Walters
Stephen F. Austin High School, Matt Kennon

On Flute
Outstanding Flute: Eau Claire Memorial High School, Cheng Cheng

On Trumpet
Honorable Mention Trumpet:
Roosevelt High School, Corey Dansereau
Garfield High School, Riley Mulherkar
Champaign Central High School, Cassie Bugbee

Outstanding Trumpet:
Garfield High School, Zuben Hensler
Agoura High School, Mor Frankie

On French Horn
Outstanding French Horn:
River East Collegiate, Olivia Orton

On Trombone
Honorable Mention Trombone:
Sun Prairie High School, Trae Titus

Outstanding Trombone:
Douglass Anderson School of the Arts, T.J. Norris
Garfield High School, Jake Linde
Dekalb High School, Sam Crittenden

On Piano
Honorable Mention Piano:
Medfield High School, Matt Aucoin
Roosevelt High School, Gus Carns

Outstanding Piano:
Garfield High School, Ben Hamaji
Douglass Anderson School of the Arts, Jahann Sweet

On Bass
Outstanding Bass:
River East Collegiate, Cole Ridd
Agoura High School, Nicole Saphos

On Drums
Outstanding Drums: Douglass Anderson School of the Arts, Jeremy Smith

On Banjo
Outstanding Banjo: Sun Prairie High School, Ben Acton

Outstanding Tap Dancers
Roosevelt High School, Alex Dugdale, Ethan Kahn


Hall High School
Garfield High School

Shorewood High School
Garfield High School

Dekalb High School
Champaign Central High School
South Whidbey High School
Sun Prairie High School

Sun Prairie High School
Roosevelt High School

New category: Doubler/Tripler
Honorable Mention, Doublers:
On Tenor & Alto, Dekalb High School, Jeff Miguel
On Clarinet & Alto, Eau Claire Memorial High School, Simon Adler

Outstanding Doublers:
On Baritone & Alto, Shorewood High School, Brad Murphy
On Tenor & Clarinet, River East Collegiate, Clay Ridd

Outstanding Tripler:
On Clarinet, Alto & Tenor, Champaign Central High School, Michael Anderson

In addition, Jazz at Lincoln Center recognized the winner of the seventh 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 53 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 “What It’s All About,” Kelsey Van Dalfsen (Mountlake Terrace High School) 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 15, 2008.

For more information visit the Annual Essentially Ellington Student Essay Contest.

Also, for the first time in the history of Essentially Ellington, Parsons School of Design student Marie Shirato created the design campaign for the program that was used in posters, advertisements, t-shirts, etc. Shirato’s design was chosen by Jazz at Lincoln Center from a large number of Parsons student submissions. This special collaboration between Parsons School of Design and Jazz at Lincoln Center will continue annually.