On March 14th & 15th, Hampden Academy was host to the Maine State High School Instrumental Jazz Festival. Over 60 groups from Presque Isle to York were in attendance. A panel of judges assessed each group based on criteria including Technical Merit, Artistic Merit, Improvisation and Programming. Groups on Saturday also were assessed on sight-reading ability. Groups were divided into four divisions based on school size.
The Hampden Academy Jazz Ensemble directed by Patrick Michaud, was in Division 2 and was given a Gold Award for their morning performance. They were also invited to compete in the Night Finals that evening. The top 2 bands in each of the 4 divisions performed that evening. After being assessed again for the Night Finals, the Hampden Academy Jazz Ensemble was named the State Champions in Division 2. In addition, drummer Jake Michaud was 1 of 5 musicians recognized for Outstanding Musicianship.
In addition, the Reeds Brook and Wagner Middle School Jazz Bands directed by Rebecca Mallory and Dana Ross, both earned State Championships in their respective divisions at the State Middle School Jazz Festival in Westbrook this past weekend. 3 of the 5 Outstanding Musicianship in Division 2 went to Ryan Walker, Logan Christian and Nicholas Gauthier from Reeds Brook. 2 of the 5 Outstanding Musicianship Awards from Division 3 went to Jordan Patterson and Nicole Dunton from Wagner.