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Two bands representing Northern California at Mingus competition

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Two Northern California student jazz ensembles have braved the massive East Coast snowstorm to participate in the sixth annual Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival. In addition, each evening Mingus ensembles will perform at the Jazz Standard, and on Sunday the competition’s outstanding high school soloists will be invited to sit in with the Mingus Big Band.

The 2014 Charles Mingus High School Competition & Festival will bring some of North America’s most talented young jazz musicians to New York City to attend work¬shops, play in jam sessions and to compete in combo and big band categories, with all of the sessions showcasing Mingus’s music, published by Hall Leonard Publishing Corporation, a sponsor of the competition. Ten schools from throughout the United States, announced in early January, were selected by leading jazz musicians and jazz educators to take part in this year’s competition. The states represented include California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Wisconsin. The goal of the competition is to provide an opportunity for high school music students to explore the enormously varied works of Charles Mingus, who left one of the largest and most personal legacies in 20th-century American composition, and to find their own individual voices within the music.

Prizes will be awarded for Best Combo, Best Big Band, Outstanding Big Band Sections (in Regular and Specialized categories), Outstanding Soloists, Outstanding Student Arrangers, and the Mingus Spirit Award. The two regional ensembles hail from the Sacramento area and will compete in the Combo category.

Folsom High School Jazz Combo I, Folsom, CA; Curtis Gaesser, Band Director: Mingus: Opus 4; Duke Ellington’s Sound of Love; Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting (arr. by Joey Cozza and Emery Mesich)
Rio Americano High School Jazz Combo, Sacramento, CA; Max Kiesner and Josh Murray, Band Directors: Mingus: Better Get Hit In Your Soul; Portrait; O.P. (arr. by the combo)

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