Amara Birdsall performs a solo during Big D’s Septet’s set at the District 6 Jazz Festival hosted Feb. 26 at George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill. GEORGE STEVENS ACADEMY PHOTO

All jazzed up!



BLUE HILL — All three of George Stevens Academy’s jazz combos and the jazz band will move on to state competition after performing in the District VI High School Instrumental Jazz Festival held on Feb. 26 at GSA.

The GSA Jazz Band, earning a gold rating, was composed of Erika Hipsky on alto sax and flute, Margaret Nevin on alto sax, Jenna Blodgett on tenor sax, Ian Bowden on tenor sax, Will Kaiser on tenor sax, Ian Howell on baritone sax, Gabe Hall on trumpet, Dawsen Astbury on trumpet, Will MacArthur on trumpet, Kelly McKay on trumpet, Duncan Howell on trombone, Chloe Sheahan on trombone, Nora Spratt on trombone, Joseph Mitchell on guitar, Morgan Davis on vibes, Juliette Claybaugh on piano, Quinn Stabler on bass and Zeke Sacaridiz on drums,.

Soloist certificate awards were presented to these jazz band members: Astbury, Davis, Hall, Hipsky, Duncan Howell, Ian Howell, Mitchell and Sacaridiz.

The GSA combo Melodious Thunk, also landing a gold rating, was comprised of Hipsky on alto sax and flute, Hall on trumpet, Ian Howell on baritone sax, Duncan Howell on trombone, Mitchell on guitar, Stabler on bass guitar and Sacaridiz on drums and vocals. Soloist awards went to Hall, Hipsky, Duncan Howell, Ian Howell, Mitchell, Sacaridiz and Stabler.

The GSA combo River of Jazz, landing a bronze rating, included MacArthur on trumpet, McKay on trumpet, Nevin on alto sax, Blodgett on tenor sax and vocals, Hunter Sargent on guitar, Davis on piano, Emily Whiting on bass guitar and West Hope on drums. Soloist awards went to MacArthur, McKay, Blodgett, Sargent, Davis and Hope.

Big D’s Septet, garnering bronze too, is made up of Astbury on trumpet, Jillian Eldridge on alto sax, Will Kaiser on tenor sax, Amara Birdsall on vocals, Grace Broughton on piano, Andy Hipsky on bass guitar and Tony Esposito on drums. Soloist awards went to Astbury, Eldridge, Birdsall, Broughton, Hipsky and Esposito.

Ensembles from Brewer, Bucksport, Ellsworth, Mount Desert Island and Shead high schools also competed at the district festival. Combos advancing to state competition from those schools were MDI’s Finger Lickers, Milkmen and The Gallery; Bucksport’s Spread Too Thin and Kitchen Sink; Brewer 1 and Brewer 2; Ellsworth’s Rhythm Wall and Viable Frequency and Shead.

Jazz bands from Brewer, Ellsworth and MDI also advanced.

The Maine Music Educators Association State High School Instrumental Jazz Festival will take place Friday-Saturday, March 13-14, at South Portland High School. Admission costs $3 for students and seniors, $5 for other adults and $15 for families.