Last Saturday, Santa Monica High School’s Jazz Band 1, 2, and Combo competed at the Newbury Park High School Jazz Festival and received high marks.

Jazz band 2, under the direction of Sean Pawling, performed in the Novice Division and received straight “Good” ratings. For most students, this was their very first jazz festival and they performed well, said Tom Whaley, Jazz Band director.

Jazz Band 2 student, Frankie Kohn, a junior who plays the guitar, received an Outstanding Soloist Award for his performance.

Jazz band 1, under the direction of Whaley, received straight “Superior” ratings in the “Advanced Division,” first place in the “Advanced Division,” and the highest score of the entire day. The following Jazz Band 1 students received outstanding soloist awards for their performances:

• Julian Apter, junior, guitar

• Glennon Davalos Stanton, sophomore, trombone

• Jake Gold, senior, trumpet

• Zach Gotler, junior, drums

• Kyle McCreight, senior, trombone

• Andres Orellana, junior, tenor saxophone

• Jane Wickline, freshman, piano

Each Jazz 1 solo award winner received a $1,400 scholarship to the Idyllwild Summer Jazz Camp, Whaley said.

Samohi Jazz Combo also earned unanimous “Superior” ratings and placed first out of all combos at the festival with a score of 90 out of 100. The following students received outstanding soloist awards for their performance:

• Julian Apter, junior, guitar

• Kyle McCreight, senior, trombone

• Andres Orellana, junior, tenor saxophone

Samohi’s jazz program is a dual enrollment program with Santa Monica College and only meets twice a week after school, while many of the other bands at the Newbury Park High School Jazz Festival meet five days a week as a regular class, Whaley said.

“Samohi’s impressive performance is a testament to the fantastic music education the students have received starting from their elementary music years all the way up to the high school,” Whaley said. “A special thanks to all the fine music teachers in the district and those who support the Samohi Jazz program.”

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