The 41st National Youth Jazz Competition held in Tauranga March 28-30 featured the most competitors in its 41-year history, National Youth Jazz Competition Director Liam Ryan says.
“We had a record number of registrations: 320 students from 21 secondary schools as far and wide as Christchurch and Wellington. Due to this we added an extra day to cater for the 18 combos and 14 big bands performing.”
The judges’ – Dr Rodger Fox from New Zealand School of Music (NZSM), international judges Dave Wilson and Dewayne Pate from USA, Gwyn Reynolds from ARA Christchurch, and Mike Booth from University of Auckland – were impressed by the standard of performance from the young musicians.
Head Judge Fox felt the standard of combos and big bands was improving year to year, in large part due to the schools returning to the competition and building on their performances each time.
“It’s very encouraging to see the competition continuing to grow; it shows it is valued by the schools,” Fox says. “The bands are very receptive to feedback and this is showing in the band performances. It’s great to see students really working on improvisational playing, It was also good to see the schools staying on for longer than a day this year and attending the concerts.”
The Best of Festival Trophy for the most outstanding jazz band was presented to Pukekohe High School with the New Orleans Trophy for most outstanding Big Band going to St Andrews College from Christchurch. The Norman Family Trophy for Best Jazz Combo was won by the Tauranga Girls College and Katikati College Combo ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’.
Best of Festival Trophy – Most outstanding jazz band – Pukekohe High School
New Orleans Trophy – Most Outstanding Big Band – St Andrews College
Most outstanding young musician – George Rawiri Trophy: Shennazar Sta Lucia
Big Band Gold Award – Trident High School, Tauranga Boys’ College, St Andrews College, Auckland Grammar School, Pukekohe High School
Big Band Silver Award – Rongotai College, Otumoetai College, Orewa College, Whangaparaoa College, Wellington College and Wellington Girl’s College, Avondale College, Long Bay College, St Paul’s Collegiate, St Peter’s College
Best Jazz Combo – Norman Family Trophy – Tauranga Girls’ College and Katikati College/Thomas the Tank Engine
Combo Gold Award – Wellington High School/Island Birdie, Tauranga Boys’ College/Kai Time, Tauranga Girls’ College and Katikati College/Thomas the Tank Engine, Kerikeri High School Combo, Auckland Grammar School Combo, Tauranga Boys’ College/Mason Jar.
Combo Silver Award – Whangaparaoa College/Andyson, Wellington High School/In Limbo, Pukekohe High school/PHS Quintet, Wellington College/WC Combo, Avondale College/Avcol’s Blue Note Combo, Avondale College Jazz Combo, Sacred Heart College/Sacred Cyclones, Avondale College/52 Street Combo, Paraparaumu College/PC Jazz Band, St Andrews College/StAC Jazz Combo
SOUNZ Trophy – Best Performance of a New Zealand Composition: Rongotai College
Award for Innovation – Derek Jacombs Trophy: Kerikeri High School
Best Original Composition – Ken Mitchell Trophy: Ben Lerner/Auckland Grammar ‘Kajumba’
Best Saxophonist – Yanagisawa Trophy: Ben Lerner /Auckland Grammar
Most outstanding Bassist – P & S Penman Trophy: Louie Campbell/Katikati College
Most outstanding Drummer – Hill/Wilcock Trophy: Harper Wilson /Wellington High School
Most outstanding Guitarist – Mayers Music Centre Trophy: Finlay Burke/Tauranga Boys’ College
Most outstanding keyboard player – Bay City Music Trophy: Gena Gray/Tauranga Girls College/Katikati College
Most outstanding pianist – Bill Hoffmeister Trophy: Troy Weenink/Tauranga Boys’ College
Most outstanding trombonist – Rodger Fox Trophy: Serge Beaton/St Andrews College
Most outstanding trumpet or flugel – Edwina Thorne Trophy: Angus Rainey/St Andrews College
Most outstanding Big Band drummer – Lauren Ellis Trophy: Joeal Mita/Trident High School
Most outstanding vocalist – Dave Feehan Trophy: Shennazar Sta Lucia
Most outstanding clarinettist – Tom Bayliss Trophy: Gillian Toala/Kerikeri High School
Most outstanding flautist – Errol Christiansen Trophy: Keeson Treacher-Perkins/Wellington High School
Best First Year Performance Band – Dennis Huggard Trophy: St Peter’s College.