Mount Desert Island again has proved itself to be hotbed of talented young jazz musicians, with three of the island’s four K-8 schools taking home trophies Saturday from the state middle school jazz festival, which was at Stearns High School in Millinocket.
Taking first place in Division III was the 36-piece Emerson Jazz Band, directed by Joe Wainer. This is the 18th time the band has taken the top spot in its division.
“I’m very proud of the students,” Mr. Wainer said. “It’s always a great journey to see the kids develop musically.”
The other three middle school bands from the island competed in Division IV.
First place went to the Mount Desert Elementary School Jazz Band. Directed by Ned Ferm.
Third place in the division went to the Tremont Consolidated School Jazz Band. Tremont has placed this high only one other time and that was in 2005. “The kids were great; they played fantastically,” director Wanda Whitener said.
The Pemetic Elementary School Jazz Band didn’t get the amount of practice time it usually gets before the annual round of competitions. A busted sprinkler pipe flooded the music room, damaging instruments and the room itself. This set the band back at least a week, said band director Ed Michaud.
The band did not place in the state competition.