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John Bapst Jazz Ensemble Makes History at Maine Instrumental Jazz Festival

Posted March 21, 2013, at 12:34 p.m.

The John Bapst Jazz Ensemble captured first place and a Gold Award at the Maine State Instrumental Jazz Competition for Division III this past Saturday, March 16, 2013 at Houlton High School. John Bapst’s Jazz Ensemble performed “The Woogie,” “Sultry Sunset,” and “All of Me, But None of You,” during the festival, and also took home the first-ever ensemble recognition for an Outstanding Musicianship Award. Competing for 80 individual and group awards in four divisions were 62 jazz ensembles and combos comprised of 781 musicians from all parts of Maine.

Matt Dunning took home the Division III Outstanding Musicianship Award for his alto sax solos, and for the “first time in the history of the universe” the entire trombone section was given the Outstanding Musicianship Award s for the best trombone “solo” performance in Division III, making special congratulations in order for the trombone section – Matt Norris, Kayle Bousfield, Seraphina Provenzano, Mike Tormey, and Noah Potvin.

Participating students were Josh Morneault ‘16, Mike Dunning ‘15, Matt Norris ‘15, Anthony Veenhof ’13, Adam Strang ‘13, Andrew Catlin ‘13, Matt Dunning ‘13, Gabe Gerow ‘13, Mike Tormey ‘15, Gabe Blanchard ‘16, Alex Casburn ‘16, Isaac Webb ’16, Symantha Stephens ‘14, Dory Grant ‘14, Jamie Roy ‘13, Stephanie Parent ‘13, Alex Rockcress ‘15, Seraphina Provenzano ‘15, Kayla Bozefield, Noah Potvin ‘14, Abigail Provenzano ‘15, Raechel Segal ’13, and John Parrick ’16.

“It is really amazing to go up against other programs in the state,” says John Bapst Music Director Al McIntyre. “Jazz has been developing in the state so the performances are really high level.”

McIntyre knew he had a strong group and searched for a piece that would really let each musician shine, especially the trombone section. Scouring YouTube he found a clip of the trombones of the Oklahoma State University Jazz Ensemble performing “All of Me, But None of You” by OSU music instructor Todd Malicoate. McIntyre contacted Malicoate by email and then phone to discuss his impressive arrangement, and inquired as to whether the band could use the piece. “It’s in your mailbox right now,” responded Malicoate.

The John Bapst trombone section took to the piece with flair, resulting in the unprecedented awarding of the Outstanding Musicianship Award to an entire section, all of whom are underclassmen.

“The work you do today is the work you do tomorrow,” said McIntyre of his student musicians, “We really felt validated.” When John Bapst was announced as the winner for Division III, McIntyre said that a loud cheer went up, even from students from other schools. “We are glad to have experienced that moment, which was so genuine, and so positive.”

A school-wide assembly Friday, March 22, in Sekera Auditorium at John Bapst will recognize the group’s achievement.

The award winning performance can be seen online http://vimeo.com/album/2305100/video/61960917.

John Bapst from Northern Maine Media on Vimeo.

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