Huge congratulations to our neighborhood high school jazz team and their director Clarence Acox for their first-place finish at the Essentially Ellington jazz competition in New York City. Garfield competed against the best high school jazz programs across the country, including two other very good ones from the Seattle area, and walked away with the top prize for the second year in a row.
This is Garfield’s fourth 1st-place win at the festival, the most of any other school in the 15 year history of the competition.
Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, which has won 3 times in previous years, got an honorable mention at this year’s event.
Nine individual musicians from Garfield also got accolades, including:
- Riley Mulherkar – The Ella Fitzgerald Outstanding Soloist Award (Trumpet)
- Evan Shay – Outstanding Alto Sax
- Graham Smith – Outstanding Alto Sax
- Carmen Rothwell – Outstanding Bass Performance
- Julian Garvue – Outstanding Piano
- Ian Zapolsky – Outstanding Piano
- Ian Frost – Outstanding Tenor Sax
- Charlie Phillips – Outstanding Tenor Sax
- Richelle Tanner – Outstanding Flute
- Willem De Koch – Honorable Mention Trombone
Although we haven’t been able to find any video or audio of the performances at the festival, we’ve uploaded several clips of the band practicing Ellington’s “Shepherd” last Thursday.
Also check out the Seattle Time’s story on Garfield’s win, where they quote the Edmonds-Woodway band director as saying “Contest judges reported that they deliberated longer than they ever have and that the level of competition was never higher.”
Awesome work for all involved!