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Mahoney Middle School Jazz Band Earns Gold at State Jazz Festival

posted Mar 30, 2017, 7:06 AM by Paul Lefebvre   [ updated Mar 30, 2017, 7:11 AM ]

The Mahoney Middle School Performance Jazz Band earned a Gold Award at the 2017 Maine State Middle School Instrumental Jazz Festival in Division II on Saturday, March 25th at Stearns Junior/Senior High School in Millinocket, Maine. The band, under the direction of music teacher Sandy Barry, scored 96 out of 100 possible points, and was one of only two bands in their division to earn the Gold Award.

8th Grade Alto Saxophonist Rosie Saffer-Meng was awarded a State Jazz Festival "Outstanding Musicianship" award, presented to the top 5 student performers in all of Division II.
Numerous individual Mahoney musicians also received Jazz Festival Awards for excellent improvisation or soli work, including Digby Roberts, Marina Brandao, Jada Briley, Wylie Roberts, Ellie Lomangino, Hailey Greene, Truly Chillemi, Ruby Lynch, and Lucy Hartley.

Rounding out the jazz band’s 2017 roster are musicians Cullen Adams, Alice Cardale, Meghan Perry, Olivia Petersen, Alice Bonnevie-Rothrock, Aidan Gorneau, Theo LeBlanc, Sky Jordan, Jane Bonnevie-Rothrock, Blake Kierstead, Ahliysen Kearns, Marcella Hesser, Jonah Diaz and Jacob Costin.

The band performed three selections of varying styles for a panel of three judges. The student musicians are adjudicated for their ability to perform stylistically in the jazz idiom. Judging categories include technical merit, artistic merit, solo/improvisation, and programming/ presentation, which also includes degree of difficulty of musical the selections performed.

The music performed by Mahoney Middle School included an original blues rock tune entitled “Mystic Traveler" written by Michael Sweeney, the classic ballad, “Harlem Nocturne” by Rogers and Hagen, arranged by Larry Norred, and the exciting jazz shuffle “Groovin’ Hard” by Don Menza, arranged by Dave Barduhn.

Judges comments shared with the band include, “Great set, nice diversity”, “excellent concept of swing styles, very mature section sounds”, and “great program, great band!”

The Performance Jazz Band members are selected each fall by audition. The band rehearses two mornings per week September through March to prepare for district and state level jazz festivals as well as numerous school and community performances.

Sandra Barry
Mahoney Middle School
240 Ocean Street
South Portland, Maine 04106