OCSA Jazz Band Receives ‘Magic’ $20,000 Gift From Disney, Band To Perform At Essentially Ellington Competition In New York

The Osceola County School for the Arts Jazz Band felt some serious magic recently as Walt Disney World Resort helped them reach their fundraising goal with a $20,000 donation for their upcoming trip to New York where they will will perform with 14 other high school jazz bands at the 27th Annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival.

“The kids were literally stunned for a while…as was I,” said OCSA’s director of jazz, Mr. Anderson. “Disney World has an entire division dedicated to enriching the community around it. Each year, they look for opportunities to give back specifically to children in enriching ways. In practical terms, this means for us that we no longer have to worry about money! We were already accepted to participate in the Essentially Ellington competition, but now we know we can go! We had already received money from the school district, as well as several individuals, but we were far from the benchmark that we needed to achieve. It propelled us towards that goal so that now the kids can just focus on what matters most… their studies and making music.

The three-day Essentially Ellington Festival allows students, teachers and musicians from across North America to participate in workshops, rehearsals and performances, culminating in an evening concert and awards ceremony featuring the top three ranked groups. The show concludes with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra featuring Wynton Marsalis performing music from the following year’s EE program.

Positively, Osceola wishes the Osceola County School for the Arts Jazz Band good luck at the Essentially Ellington Festival, and we look forward to featuring the band after the competition.

For more information on Osceola County School of the Arts, go here.


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Henry R. Wright