Sun Prairie High School Jazz I - Essentially Ellington 2019
Jazz 1 going to NYC for Essentially Ellington 2019!
Congrats - SPHS Jazz 1 invited to Essentially Ellington 2019!
Start spreading the news....Jazz 1 goes back to NYC for Essentially Ellington!
"That is pretty crazy,” Sun Prairie band director Steve Sveum said. “Three from the 608 area code. I don’t think that’s happened before."
At Sun Prairie's annual Essentially Ellington jazz fest Saturday, bands from across the region heard pointers from professional Jazz at Lincoln Center clinicians.
Sun Prairie's jazz band took note as they get ready for the national competition in May.
"It's a great, life-changing experience,” Sveum said. "They refer to it as the Super Bowl of jazz competitions. It really is." His students don’t call him coach, but Sveum leads the way.
"There's a lot of growth, and you never know where that's going to take you, and that's the fun part about this,” he said. One clinician referred to senior saxophonist Megan Rault as the Tom Brady of the team during practice.
"I don't really know football. I'm practicing a lot of the time, though,” Rault said. "But I feel like jazz band is more of a collaboration between everybody." Each plays their own part to create something bigger. "It's such an incredible feeling to feel. Everybody else is on the same page, beat, groove,” Rault said. “They can feel it, you can feel it. It's a good feeling." "These kids are working hard, and they're swinging,” said Steve Renko, assistant of student and family programs at the Jazz at Lincoln Center. “You hear how quickly they listen and sort of engage with the material they're given and how quickly they can change and become better, like that," he said, snapping his fingers.
Sun Prairie’s jazz band has made it this far. Now, they're building up to May's competition, in which the three top-placing bands perform alongside the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and jazz legend Wynton Marsalis. "That means you're the best jazz band in the country,” Rault said. “That would be crazy to think about." In Rault’s eyes, the opportunity is enough. "I think if we do the best we can do, I don't care the place we get,” she said. Sveum said he and the band directors from Beloit and Middleton are planning to hold a concert locally sometime before the national Essentially Ellington festival takes place.
From Channel 3000.com
To join in on the "EE" excitement, check out the following social media provided by Jazz at Lincoln Center. The entire weekend of EE events, including the final concert featuring the three top-placing bands and the JLCO, will be webcast live on jazz.org/live.
The Competition & Festival is the culmination of the annualEssentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Program (EE), which also includes non-competitive regional festivals around the country, teaching resources, a summer Band Director Academy, newsletters, and more. The year-long Essentially Ellington program will have distributed 30,000 newly transcribed scores by the end of this school year. For more information including background, history, photos, and audio recordings of the Essentially Ellington2016 repertoire, and more, visit: jazz.org/ee
The Essentially Ellington Competition & Festival is media-accessible via JALC social media on Facebook, Twitter @EssEllington, Instagram @jazzdotorg, and Tumblr. Students, viewers, and participators can share their thoughts and photos by using the hashtag #EE2018