March 28, 2013 at 12:09 pm

GSA Places Third at State Jazzfest

The disappointments at States prompted a resurgence of the GSA MEMES page.

The disappointments at States prompted a resurgence of the GSA MEMES page.

Yes, you heard right.  The George Stevens Academy Jazzband didn’t win the Maine State High School Jazzfest.  It placed third, behind Houlton and MCI, which both advanced to the head-to-head final round on Saturday evening.  Houlton won the Division 4 competition on their home turf.    The last time GSA was shut out of the night finals was in 2010. Many tears were shed that year, especially among the freshmen members of the band who felt they had jinxed GSA’s impressive winning streak.  This year there were no tears, although there were some profanities and sullen faces.  The sting perhaps was less in third place than in the final scores of the adjudicators; at the District Jazzfest GSA received an average of 96, only to be rated 86.8 at States.  The band lost points with Brooklyn, a high-power  arrangement for trombone by the Youngblood Brass Band which had adjudicator John Cooper “peeling himself off the back wall.”  Although Peter Howell, to whom the band’s set was dedicated after undergoing a appendectomy only a week previous, was honored with an Outstanding Musicianship Award, as was yours truly.
It was a rough weekend for combos as well.  In Multi Combo Division A “Sax in the City” placed fourth after going losing points for going overtime.  “Riff Raff” and “Tate and the Tots” took third and fourth respectively in a division with only four groups in it.  These three combos, all with vocalists, had to put up with a highly distorted sound system in their performance hall.  Despite lackluster scores, the JV combos pulled in a startling 4/5 Outstanding Musicianship Awards in Division B; Alice Dillon on piano, Tate Yoder on trombone, Clover Slagle on Vocals and So Young Ihm on flute.  GSA Top Combo “Lucy and the Diamonds”, in Combo Division III, placed first and David Reinke received an Outstanding Musicianship Award.
The GSA Jazzband and combos will be playing at International Night on April 6th.  Livestream footage from Houlton by Northern Maine Media is also available on Vimeo for the first time; apparently up to 7000 people tuned in to watch performances at the State Competition.

George Stevens Academy Jazz Band from Northern Maine Media on Vimeo.

GSA Lucy & the Diamonds from Northern Maine Media on Vimeo.

StateJazz-Lobby1 from Northern Maine Media on Vimeo.

StateJazz-Lobby2 from Northern Maine Media on Vimeo.

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