On Saturday, March 14th, the Hampden Academy Jazz Ensemble participated in the Maine State High School Instrumental Jazz Festival in South Portland. They were on a quest to repeat last year’s State Championship in Division 2.
They qualified for the State Festival by participating in the District V Jazz Festival held on Feb. 12th at Ridgeview Community School in Dexter. They received a score of 98 out of 100. Their goal for the State Jazz Fest was a perfect score.
At the State Festival in South Portland, they received an average score of 94 out of 95 from 3 judges for their performance of 3 selections which included “Swingin’ for the Fences” by Gordon Goodwin, “Gentle Rain” by Kris Berg and “Better Get Hit in Your Soul’ by Charles Mingus. Soloists included Eiji Frey on Trombone, Dan Rice on Piano, Bailey Giles on Tenor Sax, Jake Michaud on Drums, Noah Gardner on Trumpet, Josh Redmond on Trombone, Reba Sands on Flute and Nate Haiden on Bass. Each soloist received a superior rating for their Solo. In addition, Bailey Giles and Jake Michaud were 2 of the 5 soloists from Div. 2 to receive an Outstanding Musicianship Award.
After their performance, the ensemble proceeded to a sightreading room where they performed a short composition that they had never played before. They scored 5 out of 5 giving them a total score of 99 out of 100.
The band qualified for the Night Finals concert where they attained their goal and became the State Champions in Division 2.
All K-8 RSU 22 students have been invited to a performance which will occur in the next couple weeks at the Hampden Academy Performing Arts Center. Jazz Ensemble students will also talk with the students about the dedication it takes to achieve excellence in music. In addition, on Friday, May 8th at 7 p.m., they will be performing with world acclaimed and award winning Baritone Saxophonist, Gary Smulyan.