Random, but I found the old San Jose Mercury News story of when my junior high jazz band won Musicfest. I’m copying it here for posterity.


STAN MOREILLON, Mercury News Staff Writer
PUBLICATION: San Jose Mercury News (CA)
DATE: May 31, 1989
EDITION: Morning Final

Page: 1

The 18-piece Caroline Davis Intermediate School Jazz Band has been judged the Outstanding Junior High School Stage Band in the nationwide 1989 Musicfest USA finals, said Bill Slocum, band director and teacher.

”The term ‘stage band’ really means ‘big band,’ ” he said last week. “We play big band jazz — a variety of swing, blues, ballads, Latin and some rock. We worked very hard to get a good, solid ensemble feeling — and we got it!”

More than 100 bands and vocal groups were invited to the festival, Slocum said. They competed in categories from junior high school to university levels. The Davis band, from the Oak Grove School District, won in the 14-and-under age division.

The third annual Musicfest was held at King of Prussia, Pa., a suburb of Philadelphia near Valley Forge, during the last week in April, Slocum said.

Principal sponsor of the invitational festival was Down Beat Magazine.

The Davis band won plaques for best in its division from both Down Beat and the National Association of School Music Dealers (NASMD), Slocum said. In addition, the music dealers awarded $1,500 to the school to buy equipment.

”We’re going to buy a synthesizer for use by the jazz and concert bands,” Slocum said.

Musicfest judges named the band’s 12-year-old pianist, Danny Chai, to the 1989 Musicfest All-Star band. Danny won a plaque and an All-Star jacket.

The band was invited to the festival because it was judged the best of 14 junior high bands that competed at the Santa Cruz Jazz Festival in March, Slocum said. That event also attracted more than 100 bands from junior high to university levels.

Besides Danny, members of the championship band are Robin Benedetti, 13, on tenor sax; Genevieve Brown, 13, piano and drums; Joe Buckle, 13, trombone; Jennifer Clingingsmith, 13, bass; Rochelle Durst, 13, alto sax; Jon Gray, 13, trumpet; Bobby Hernandez, 13, tenor sax, and Steven Jeon, 14, bass trombone.

Also, Daniel Kockler, 13, trumpet; Mario Lima, 14, drums; Roy Miner, 13, trumpet; Alyssa Oania, 13, alto sax; Beth Owen, 13, baritone sax; Jose Perez, 13, trumpet; Scott Taylor, 13, trombone; Luthgarda-Rose Torio, 12, trombone, and Thomas Woo, 13, trumpet.

The jazz band was accorded a unanimous superior rating in February at the Chabot College Jazz Festival, sponsored by the Bay Area Section of the California Music Educators Association.

The band was organized in 1983. Since, it has won first and second place trophies at the Reno International Jazz Festival, first place at the Fullerton Jazz Festival, and unanimous superior ratings at California Music Educators Association jazz festivals.

Slocum and his wife Pam, a music-teaching team at Davis School, alternate each year as director and assistant director of the school’s jazz and concert bands.

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