Top swinging honors — MTHS jazz band wins Sweepstakes award at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival

The Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Ensemble 1 performs at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 20. (Photos courtesy of the Mountlake Terrace High School Music Boosters)

The Mountlake Terrace High School Jazz Ensemble 1 won the Sweepstakes award Saturday, April 20, at the University of Idaho Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, Idaho.

The band competed against 82 other high schools from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Canada, according to a news release. The festival is one of the largest and oldest educational jazz festivals in the world.

The MTHS jazz band performed early in the day Saturday, where the group was adjudicated on its 20-minute set. The band performed A Little Minor Booze, Trav’lin’ Light, The Sunny Side of the Street and Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie!

After winning their division, the adjudicators selected the top two schools for the Sweepstakes Competition on Saturday evening. Garfield High School Jazz 1 and Mountlake Terrace were selected. Mountlake Terrace performed Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie! in the Sweepstakes Competition. View the Jazz Ensemble 1 award-winning sweepstakes performance on the MTHS Jazz YouTube channel.

Travis Herberg, Luca Manzo, Justin Ho, Katarina Moye, Mya Phin and Jesse Guasch, in addition to the entire trombone section of Bennett Harvey, Braden Ryder, Allen Vernon, Ben Dockter and Wyatt Gutting, were recognized for their outstanding solo performances.

MTHS jazz musicians are recognized for their outstanding solo performances.

The Symphonic Jazz Band, three jazz combos and two soloists from Mountlake Terrace High School jazz also performed at the festival.

“What a great trip! I’m so excited we were able to provide this festival experience for students in both of these groups, “ said Jazz Band Director Darin Faul. “Symphonic Jazz Band has been doing jazz band and concert band music this year because of the cuts that happened last spring and have grown a ton. And Jazz Ensemble 1 has had an amazingly successful last six weeks.

“First, we received the Sweepstakes prize at the Newport Jazz Festival in March. Then we presented a great program at Hot Java Cool Jazz in front of a sold-out crowd at the Paramount Theater.

“Last weekend at Lionel Hampton we were again recognized with the Sweepstakes award at what is the biggest, most competitive jazz festival in the Northwest. I’m extremely proud of these students and am really looking forward to the next couple months of school and what we can do. It’s been so much fun!”

The MTHS Jazz 1 trombone section performs “The Sunny Side of the Street.”
Jesse Guasch performs a solo during the MTHS set.
Baritone saxophonists Cameron Merkle and Anna Speedy.
The MTHS Jazz Ensemble with the Sweepstakes award.

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