ADELAIDE’S Marryatville High School dominated the top divisions of all three major award categories at this year’s Generations in Jazz festival.
Major winners from the City of Mount Gambier National Stage Band Awards, ANZ Vocal Ensemble Awards and the University of South Australia Small Jazz Combo Awards were revealed at Sunday’s finale concert and awards ceremony, with the school named the Division 1 Stage Band winner ahead of Victoria’s Blackburn High School.
Marryatville High also boasted the best small jazz combo and the weekend’s top large vocal ensemble and finished runner-up in the small group vocal ensemble.
The top small group Division 1 Vocal Ensemble was Aquinas College of Victoria.
Melbourne’s Caulfield Grammar and St Peter’s College from Adelaide were the joint winners of the Division 2 section one category of the National Stage Band Awards.
Victoria’s Balwyn High School took out section two of that division, with Westminster School (SA) finishing second.
The band director’s award for the most outstanding educator went to Philip Walsh of St Peter’s College in Adelaide.
Highly coveted scholarships designed to assist in career development were awarded to James Morrison Academy student Jayden Blockley and Sydney Conservatorium of Music student Stephanie Russell.
Jayden, 19, a tenor saxophone player from Perth, won the $10,000 James Morrison Scholarship for instrumentalists, which is sponsored by Melbourne philanthropist Andrea Evans and family in recognition of the late Ron Evans’ wish to encourage jazz talent.
He will record at the ABC Studio in Sydney for a day, sponsored by ABC Jazz, an experience which is valued at up to $5000.
“My plan is to use some of the money to buy a soprano saxophone – I don’t own one and I have been hoping to buy one for awhile,” he told The Border Watch yesterday.
“I will probably save the rest – I would love to head to New York City post-grad and the prize money will definitely help me cover the costs to get there.
“I wasn’t expecting to win, I just wanted to play the way I play and I was happy that I sounded the way I wanted and I was pretty relieved when I walked off the stage on Saturday.”
Jayden is currently in his second year studying a Bachelor of Music at the James Morrison Academy of Music.
Stephanie Russell, 20, of Newcastle secured the $5000 Vocal Scholarship sponsored by The Border Watch.
Stephanie is in her final year at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music majoring in jazz vocals.