Sophomore Mattea Black of George Stevens’ Killer Vibes combo sings “Cry Me A River” at the State Jazz Festival at Hampden Academy. Black was awarded an Outstanding Musicianship award. PHOTOS COURTESY OF GEORGE STEVENS ACADEMY

GSA soloists earn top ratings at State Jazz Fest

BLUE HILL — Every George Stevens Academy soloist earned a 1 rating and all four ensembles earned Silver Medal ratings at last weekend’s 2022 Maine Instrumental Jazz Festival hosted by Hampden Academy.

Mattea Black and Morgan Davis received all-festival Outstanding Musicianship awards.

“I was proud of our performances and the range and unique sound of each group,” director Phelan Gallagher said. “There is so much personality in the music, and I really felt like we would have won the ‘people’s choice’ award if there was one!”

Tune Town played “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy,” “Desafinado” and “Corn Bread.”

Judges awarded 1 ratings to every Tune Town soloist: Erik Davis on alto sax, Will MacArthur on trumpet, Thea McKechnie on vibes, Alex Newman on tenor sax and Noah Zemans on guitar and voice.

Tune Town’s other members are Ian Bowden on baritone sax, Ava Surgal on bass, Ansel Tenney on piano/vibes and Isaiah Zemans on drums.

Killer Vibes performed “Little Sunflower,” “Cry Me A River” and “Road Song.”

Every Killer Vibes soloist earned a 1 rating: Mattea Black on piano, vibes and voice, June Page on vibes and Liam Stearns on tenor sax.

The other members of Killer Vibes are Sayer Bramblett-Williams on drums, Brady Hutchins on bass, Iris Kimball on trombone/flute, Sam McKay on tenor sax and Maranda Pert on alto sax.

Tasty Bites played “Chucho,” “Money” and “Alberto Balsam.”

Phelan Gallagher directs George Stevens Academy’s Jazz Band at the State Jazz Festival at Hampden Academy.

Every Tasty Bites soloist earned a 1 rating: Jenna Blodgett on voice, Morgan Davis on keys, vibes and steel pan, Tony Esposito on drums, Gabe Hall on trumpet and Andy Hipsky on guitar.

Tasty Bites also includes Austin Chandler on bass and Jillian Eldridge on alto sax.

The GSA Jazz Band performed “Haitian Fight Song,” “Skylark” and “500 Miles High.”

Every Jazz Band soloist earned a 1 rating: Mattea Black on piano, Jenna Blodgett on voice, Austin Chandler on bass, Morgan Davis on vibes, Tony Esposito on drums, Gabe Hall on trumpet, Andy Hipsky on guitar, Alex Newman on soprano sax and Will MacArthur on trumpet.

The Jazz Band’s other members are Ian Bowden on baritone sax, Fred Coit on trumpet, Erik Davis on alto sax, Jillian Eldridge on tenor sax, Quinn Jackson on trombone, Iris Kimball on trombone, Olivia Lewicki on trumpet, Kelly McKay on trumpet, Sam McKay on alto sax, Chloe Sheahan on trombone, Nora Spratt on trombone and Liam Stearns on alto sax.

The Mount Desert Island High School Jazz Band came home with the gold Saturday.

The Gold Award is the highest honor given at the festival. MDI’s jazz band, directed by Michael Remy, tied with Greely High School of Cumberland Center for the top score for the entire festival across all classes.

Musician Quentin Pileggi also received an Outstanding Performance award for his trombone feature on the ballad “Sentimental Over You.”


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