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PDF: 2012HSpressrelease

January 5, 2012 – New York, NY

Sue Mingus and Let My Children Hear Music/The Charles Mingus Institute and Justin DiCioccio and the Manhattan School of Music announce finalists (see attached) and an exciting lineup for the Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival weekend.  This year’s nationwide Competition will include events produced with Manhattan School of Music, as well as other events produced by Let My Children Hear Music including a public concert of Mingus music conducted by Gunther Schuller.  The Mingus Big Band will perform all weekend at Jazz Standard, and on Sunday night, Outstanding Soloists from the Competition will have the opportunity to sit in.

Saturday begins with a full day of clinics and workshops at the Manhattan School of Music (122nd Street & Broadway) including master classes for instruments and sections, lectures, films, and clinics that explore aspects of Mingus music, followed by a student Mingus jam. Prominent educators and musicians have listened to tapes and will participate in the clinics and adjudicate the Competition on Sunday, also at MSM, which will feature the top 12 big bands and combos from around the country.

Please note various locations for the other events taking place.  All events are open to the public. More details to be announced at


The finalists (in alphabetical order by school) are:

-Lexington High School Jazz Ensemble, Lexington, MA. Band Director: Ken Gable
-Jazz Ensemble I, Medfield High School, Medfield, MA. Band Director: Douglas Olsen
-The Rivers Big Band, Rivers School,  Weston, MA. Band Director: Philippe Crettien

BIG BAND CATEGORY-Specialized Schools and Programs
-Jazz House Big Band, Jazz House Kids, Montclair, NJ. Band Director: Julius Tolentino
-York College Blue Notes, New York, NY. Band Director: Tom Zlabinger

-Lexington High School Jazz Combo, Lexington, MA. Band Director: Ken Gable
-Newark Academy Combo, Newark Academy, Livingston, NJ. Band Director: Julius Tolentino
-Rio Americano Combo, Rio Americano High School, Sacramento, CA. Band Director: Max Kiesner and Josh Murray

COMBO CATEGORY-Specialized Schools and Program (There was a tie for the 3rd spot so 4 combos will compete.)
-Batterman Ensemble, Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, Milwaukee, WI. Band Director: Mark Davis
-Jazz Ensemble 3, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, Hartford, CT.  Band Director: Kris Allen
-Jazz House Small Group, Jazz House Kids, Montclair, NJ. Band Director: Radam Schwartz and Julius Tolentino
-LaGuardia High School Jazz Sextet, LaGuardia High School Jazz Sextet, New York, NY.  Band Director: Kevin Blancq


FRIDAY, FEB 17-SUNDAY, FEB 19  MINGUS BIG BAND at Jazz Standard 116 E. 27th btw Park & Lex Sets at 7:30pm/9:30pm. Fri & Sat third set at 11:30pm. Fri/Sat: $30/$15 students, Sunday $25/$12.50 students.


-FULL DAY OF CLINICS, MASTER CLASSES, AND JAMS at Manhattan School of Music 122nd Street & Broadway Free and open to the public.

-MINGUS ORCHESTRA conducted by Gunther Schuller. Details coming.


-Mingus High School COMPETITION at Manhattan School of Music. 122nd Street & Broadway. MSM Mingus group and Mingus Dynasty performs. Free and open to the public.

-MINGUS BIG BAND at Jazz Standard. Sets 7:30 & 9:30 with Outstanding Soloists from the Competition sitting in. $25/$12.50 students

MONDAY, FEB 20 MINGUS band at Jazz Standard 116 E. 27th btw Park & Lex.
Sets at 7:30/9:30. $25/$12.50 students

“You are guaranteed a great and profound experience when you perform music by this giant of jazz composition.”
—Gunther Schuller, conductor/ Pulitzer Prize-winning composer/educator

“The deep study of this music has affected our lives. It’s changed us as people and players.”
—Jeffery Leonard, Lexington High School band director