On Saturday, some 230 high school musicians from all around the country descended upon the New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī, Victoria University of Wellington, for the inaugural Young Jazz Band-it school jazz competitions.
The Young Jazz Band-it initiative is a joint venture between Youthtown and the Aotearoa Jazz Education & Performance Charitable Trading Trust (AJE&PCT) and is supported by Musicworks NZ and the New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī.
Ten high school big bands contested the Essential NZ Jazz Band Competition finals, with Christchurch’s Burnside High School Big Band winning first place, receiving a $6,000 prize from Musicworks NZ. Second place went to Palmerston North Boy’s High School Big Band, winning $2,500 from Musicworks, and third place to Tauranga Boy’s College Big Band, receiving a $1,500 prize from Musicworks.
The NZ Drum Improvisation Competition with a $750 prize from Musicworks was won by Sho Woodhouse, again from Burnside High School.
William Kao, from Burnside High School, took out first place in the NZ Jazz Improvisation Competition with a $750 prize from Musicworks. Monet Schutte from Burnside High School was second, picking up the $500 prize, and Jack Ta from Dunedin’s Logan Park High School was third, receiving $250.
First place in the NZ Jazz Composition Competition (Combo Section), a competition for the best jazz piece composed by a New Zealand school student or students and performed by a school jazz band, went to ‘Chicks from Corea’, from Burnside High School who received a $1,000 prize.
‘Fruju Peak’ from Auckland’s Northcote College were placed second and received a $500 prize.
Rodger Fox, Director of the Young Jazz Band-it Competitions, said: “What a day, it was so encouraging and inspiring to hear these young musicians perform, making great music together in a supportive environment. A big, big shout-out to all the music teachers, band directors and family members who helped make it all possible.
“Huge kudos to Youthtown for funding the Young Jazz Band-it competitions via the Aotearoa Jazz Education & Performance Charitable Trading Trust Inc., to Musicworks NZ for providing the generous prizes, and to the New Zealand School of Music - Te Kōkī for hosting the event.
“Congratulations to the prize winners, to those selected as finalists, and many thanks to everyone who entered the competition.
“We now look forward to the Young Jazz Band-it 2023 Competitions with entries opening towards the end of November.”
Well the Young Jazz Band-it Competition is indeed up and running. The first ever finals were held at the New Zealand School of Music, Victoria University on Saturday, 1 October. Some 230 high school aged musicians ascended onto Wellington with energy to burn for the art form of jazz. Wow!! What a day, it was so encouraging and inspiring to... Keep Reading