Osceola School for the Arts Jazz Band Recognized at School Board Meeting After Big Competition Win in New York


Duke Ellington’s music is at the very heart of 20th century American musical heritage and central to the rich canon of jazz music. Jazz at Lincoln Center, committed to instilling a broader understanding of this music, created the Essentially Ellington (EE) program during the 1995-1996 school year to make Ellington’s music accessible to as many musicians around the world as possible. secondary school and to support the development of their music. school music programs.

“What an incredible experience we have had over the past few days in New York. Congratulations to all students, families and supporters of the OCSA Jazz Program. It’s been an exhausting week but all the hard work of Mr Jason Anderson and the absolutely amazing Jazz A students paid off last night by winning 1st place at the Essentially Ellington Competition and Festival,” said the Assistant Director of the Osceola County School for the Arts said Mark Conners – who traveled with the set to New York.

Trumpeter Nathaniel Williford received the competition’s “Snooky Young” award for excellence as principal and solo trumpeter in the New York competition, presented to him by jazz trumpeter legend, Wynton Marsalis.

“Honestly, it all seems surreal. Showing up with these people that I’ve spent all this time and rehearsal with and really grown to love, it’s been amazing. We’ve all put in so much work and we’ve got it all. left onstage. And I’m so honored to receive this brand new award on behalf of one of my heroes. This recognition from Wynton meant the world to me. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this group,” said said OCSA trumpet player Nathaniel Williford on Sunday.

Disney World has donated $20,000 for jazz band OCSA’s trip to New York. Some school district funds, as well as a travel grant from Jazz at Lincoln Center, covered most of the expenses to attend the festival, allowing jazz bandleader Jason Anderson and his band to stay truly focused on the main purpose of the trip… to play serious jazz!

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Henry R. Wright