MMEA Jazz All State FestivalMarch 26, 2012
Maine Music Educators Association bring students and adults together
In most areas of the country, March Madness means Basketball. That happens in Maine in February, but there is also a March Madness in Maine for students in the Arts. There are Regional and State Drama Festivals, Visual Art Shows and it is Music in Our School month, meaning concerts abound. Oh…and it’s Jazz Season…ALL month long!
The Maine Music Educator’s Association (MMEA) sponsors District and State Jazz Festivals for both Middle School and High School jazz groups throughout the state. Tonight (Monday, March 26, 2012) at 9:00, Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) will broadcast some of Maine’s finest student Jazz Musicians from the MMEA Jazz All State Festival, held in Scarborough in January. You will have an opportunity to watch individual students from many Maine High Schools participate together in Jazz Bands, a Jazz Combo and a Jazz Choir.
In March, students participate in Jazz Ensembles which are part of their school music programs and these groups then compete against similar groups from other schools. First, these groups must qualify for the MMEA State Festival at an MMEA District Festival by receiving a certain score…any number of schools may qualify. Then, each type of group has it’s own State Festival. If you love Jazz, you will love all of these festivals and be prepared for Maine’s student Jazz Musicians to blow you away with their talent! The first of the MMEA State Festivals was the MMEA High School Instrumental Jazz Festival, held at Mount Desert Island High School on March 16 and 17. On Friday, March 16th all Jazz Combos competed and schools that have more than one Jazz Band competed in the ‘Multiple’ Jazz Band category. On Saturday, March 17th, all of the other High School Jazz Bands competed in three different venues and 4 different divisions. The divisions are determined by school size…all of the schools are ranked in order of size and then 4 equal divisions are created. There were a total of 37 schools involved, with 30 on Saturday (7 schools participated with combos only).
Awards for the High School Instrumental Festival were as follows:
In Division IV:
- First Place–George Stevens Academy, directed by Steve Orlofsk
- 2nd Place–Maine Central Institute (MCI), Directed by Dean Neal
- 3rd Place–Old Orchard Beach, directed by Mark Manduca
In Division III:
- First Place–Old Town High School, directed by Jeff Priest
- 2nd Place–MDI (Darth Vader), directed by Dan Granholm
- 3rd Place–Fryeburg Academy directed by C. Brent LeCasce.
In Division II:
- First Place–Nokomis High School, directed by M. Stanley Buchanan
- 2nd Place–Westbrook High School, directed by Phil Rich
- 3rd Place Brewer High School, directed by Brady Harris
In Division I:
- First Place–South Portland, directed by Craig Skeffington
- 2nd Place–Brunswick High School, directed by Michael Scarpone
- 3rd Place–Noble High School, directed by Mark Mumme.
In addition to these ordinals, the following schools had students that received outstanding musician trophies:
- George Stevens Academy
- Houlton High School
- John Bapst High School
- Ellsworth High School
- York High School
- Fryberg Academy
- Nokomis High School
- Brewer High School
- Westbrook high School
- Greely High School
- South Portland High School
- Thornton Academy
- Brunswick High School
Congratulations to all of the participants!
This past weekend, Saturday March 23rd, the MMEA Middle School Instrumental Jazz Festival took place at Stearns High School in Millinocket. Once again, audiences were treated to the reason there are so many excellent High School Jazz Bands in the State of Maine. Excellent student musicianship was apparent in these groups. Again, there were 4 divisions, with a total of 33 bands representing 30 different schools from throughout the state.
Following are the results from Divisions I and II:
In Division I:
- First Place–Falmouth Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Jerry Barry
- 2nd Place–Noble Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Marilyn Bachelder and 3rd Place–Greely Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Scott Thurston.
In Division II:
- First Place–Lenonard Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Shianne Priest
- 2nd Place–Brewer Community School under the direction of Lanissa Nadeau
- 3rd Place–Reeds Brook Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Becky Mallory
Complete results of outstanding musician awards and Divisions III and IV will be posted soon.
Next weekend, vocalists will take the stage in Ellsworth for the MMEA State Vocal Jazz Festival. On Friday, March 30th, Middle School Show Choirs will compete against one another and on Saturday, March 31st, High School Show Choirs and High School Jazz Choirs will compete.
If you are looking for an enjoyable way to spend your weekend, I strongly recommend that you find your way to Ellsworth High School. The students are sure to impress you, and I will have my own group there, so perhaps I will see you in Ellsworth!
Thank you so much to music educator Pam Kinsey for this post!