Blair's Jazz Band A was awarded second place in the 22nd Annual Chantilly Invitational Jazz Festival at Chantilly High School in Virginia on Saturday, Mar 23.
Several members of the jazz band, led by Instrumental Music Director Kurt Lucas, were named to the festival's "all-star" group following the competition: senior Victor Moreno and senior Andrew Benton on the trombone, junior Alex Hutchinson on the drum set, and senior Sean Cooney on the trumpet.
The band performed three pieces of varying jazz styles early in the day and was called back to play them again in the evening as one of three finalist groups. The first song, "Such Sweet Thunder," by Duke Ellington, featured a trio by Benton, senior Ben Bernstein and junior Kurt Schewe, trumpet players. The band also used this song to greet Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend during her visit to Blair on Monday, Mar 25.
The second song, "Sultry Sunset," also by Duke Ellington, featured senior Deborah Moody, a Blair favorite for the festival all-star group, on the tenor saxophone, and Cooney.
The third song, "Tall Cotton," by Sammy Nestico, featured Moreno, Cooney, and a saxophone soli (the entire saxophone section).
The festival was a workshop as well as a competition. Sergeant First Class Matt Neiss of the Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, which performed in the evening after the three finalist high school bands, ran a clinic for Blair's jazz band after the first time it competed. Neiss complemented Blair's soloists in particular as well as Lucas.
Jazz Band A also performed at the MBHS Band Booster's Swing into Spring Community Tea Dance on Sunday, Mar 24. The fundraiser included a silent auction as well as musical performances by both of Blair's jazz bands and Blair's Orchestra.
Ben Meiselman. Ben Meiselman is a senior in the Communication Arts Program at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He enjoys playing sports, especially baseball. Ben is seventeen years old, born May 16, 1985. He has played the trumpet since fourth grade when he began … More »