“It never gets old.”

Clarence Acox SRJO

SRJO co-founder and Artistic Director Clarence Acox | photo by Bruce C Moore

“”The kids feel great. The parents feel great. It’s a lot of work. A lot of hard work. A lot of effort put into it. We’re just enjoying the moment. It never gets old.” That’s Clarence Acox sharing his feelings with KPLU’s Florangela Davila last night in NY City. Earlier in the evening, Acox and his hard working Garfield High School jazz band were named first place winners of the 15th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. Listen to more of the excitement in Florangela’s full report.

As Hugo Kugiya reports for the Seattle Times, this unprecedented 4th win was achieved in what was, perhaps the strongest field of bands in the event’s history. He quotes Clarence, “”What I’m most proud of is the time and effort the kids took upon themselves to do what it took to win.” Several Garfield musicians were recognized as outstanding soloists, including lead trumpeter, senior Riley Mulherkar, named the “outstanding soloist” of the three-day festival. Read Hugo’s coverage here.

Justifiably proud of their neighborhood High School The Central District news has a complete list of Garfield’s award winning soloists, as well as a few hot video clips of the band rehearsing “The Shepherd”, the song on which trumpeter Mulherkar shared soloing honors with festival director Wynton Marsalis.

Wynton’s web site has a complete list of winners for the competition & festival, including bands, sections, soloists, and the Essentially Ellington writing contest, in which students from all participating high schools to submit an essay or short story based on themes relating to this year’s EE repertoire. Photographs and recordings from this years festival will be available on the Jazz at Lincoln Center web site in coming weeks.

Our congratulations to Clarence and his band on their victory, and to Scott Brown and his Roosevelt High School Jazz Band on their outstanding performance and honorable mention. Thanks for keeping jazz alive.

UPDATE 05/13/10: Seattle Times Opinion – Essentially Ellington: essentially passion an hard work

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4 responses to ““It never gets old.”

  1. Seattle gets spoiled by such success. In reality, we are all witnessing an ongoing miracle. Year after year, we have these excellent bands, supported by superb educators and tireless parents. It’s nice to win, but the most important thing that the kids get from these experience are what I call “life lessons.” Whatever they do in the future, they will know that achievement is based on hard work, and that teams need to pay attention to and support one another. Would that ALL our young people left high school having learned such lessons.

    I only wish that our system of public education recognized this and supported excellence with more than lip service.

  2. Congratulations to the band! Can’t wait to hear you play again

  3. Very great writing! Truely..

  4. Pingback: SRJO & Far East Suite meet in the middle « The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra: Blog

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