By VASUMATHI VENKAT ’22
Featuring 12 bands from 8 high schools in Central Jersey, Edison High School hosted its jazz festival on February 7, 2020, kicking off the jazz concert season. The show opened at 5:30 pm with 3 charts from the EHS Jazz Band, consisting of 16 members and conducted by Mr. Joseph Ciappina, the EHS assistant band director. The show closed with 3 charts from the EHS Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Mr. Marc Denicuolo, the EHS band director, at 10:00 pm, followed by an awards ceremony.
The competition was judged by Dr. Jeffrey Kunkel, a professor from Montclair, and Dr. Gary Feinberg, a professor from TCNJ. 9 awards were given with “Best Overall Band” going to J.P. Stevens Jazz Ensemble.
In section awards, J.P. Stevens Jazz Ensemble also won “Best Saxes” and “Best Trumpets.” “Best Trombones” went to Passaic County Technical High School Inst. Jazz Band, and “Best Rhythm Section” went to Scotch Plains–Fanwood Moonglowers.
As for the coveted “Best Soloist” awards, 3 of the 4 were received by Farah MBawhe, Suvan Sudharesh, and Shiryaus Lingam of the J.P. Stevens Jazz Ensemble. The other “Best Soloist” Award was given to Sophie Pritchett of the Scotch Plains–Fanwood Moonglowers.
Band Director Mr. Denicuolo remarked, “It was a fantastic night of jazz. Our bands performed well and it was great to hear what other schools are doing. Special thanks to the EHS Band Parents and Tri-M Society members that helped to run the event smoothly.”
All in all, the festival had a great turnout and variety of charts from a multitude of local high school bands, showcasing the talents of many young musicians.