Mays High School Jazz Orchestra Wins a Spot on the Main Stage at Atlanta Jazz Festival

Atlanta Jazz Festival Announces Winners of Youth Jazz Band Competition.

The 10th Annual Youth Jazz Band Competition took place on Saturday, March 23 at Georgia State University in Kopleff Recital Hall. Competition was open to all Georgia Department of Education accredited High Schools (grades 9-12) and Middle Schools (grades 6-8) in all 28 metro Atlanta counties.

Eight bands competed and six won the opportunity to perform as the opening act each day at the festival in Piedmont Park over Memorial Day Weekend.

“The Atlanta Jazz Festival is committed to events and programming which promote the education and entertainment of a diverse audience of jazz fans, and to nurturing the next generation of jazz musicians,” says Camille Russell Love, Director of the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs.

“Our annual Youth Jazz Band Competition is one of the key components in fulfilling that mission.  It is also a wonderful way to celebrate the incredible amount of young talent right here in our communities.” 

Scholarships for this year’s competition were made possible by Bank of America.

Adjudicators for the competition were Phil Clore, host and producer of the Monday evening “Jazz To Soothe The Soul” program on WRFG 89.3 FM; Melvin Jones, world-class trumpeter and The Director of Bands and Instrumental Studies at Morehouse College; and Mace Hibbard, Grammy award winning saxophonist and Professor of Jazz Saxophone and Improvisation at Georgia State University.

The top three winning bands will perform on the Main Stage at the festival. But there is only one winner and the great Mays High School band has done it again!

  • 1st Place - The Benjamin E. Mays High School Jazz Orchestra
    William J. Earvin – Band Director
    *They won a $750 scholarship       
    They will perform on the Main Stage on Monday, May 27 @ 1 pm           

This year three additional opportunities were offered to the 4th, 5th, and 6th place bands to play at the festival on the International Stage.  No scholarships were included, but a the experience will be one to remember for these 3 Southwest Atlanta schools and their music students.

  • 4th Place - The Westlake High School Jazz Ensemble                                Cedric Young – Band Director                                
    They will perform on the International Stage on Monday, May 27 @ 3:30 pm  
  • 5th Place - J.C. Young Middle School Jazz Ensemble   
    Robert Jeffrey – Band Director
    They will perform on the International Stage on Sunday, May 26 @ 3:30 pm
  • 6th Place - The Tri-Cities High School Jazz Band
    Tarik Rowland – Band Director
    They will perform on the International Stage on Saturday, May 25 @ 2 pm

The 36th Annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is presented by the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs, a division of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs. You can visit the official web site at www.atlantafestivals.com for the latest schedules, news and information.


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