Report: National Youth Jazz Competition
After a resounding performance in assembly the previous day, the School’s Big Band and Jazz Combo travelled to Tauranga on Wednesday 5 April to compete in the 45th National Youth Jazz Competition, which runs in conjunction with the National Jazz Festival. Currently celebrating its 60th year, this year’s competition featured 520 students across 31 secondary schools.
Both groups were looking to uphold their high standards having maintained Gold Awards across a number of consecutive years, along with receiving individual and group awards in 2022, including being named Best Big Band.
Form 7 student R. R. Ranu Ediriweera Wijesuriya – the 2023 leader of the Big Band – received the Lauren Ellis Trophy for Best Big Band Drummer. Ediriweera Wijesuriya won Best Combo Drummer in 2021, as well as the Best Big Band Drummer in 2022, a significant achievement to win it across consecutive years.
Both the Jazz Combo and Big Band received Gold Awards, which reflected their standard and level of playing.
Finally, the Big Band were named as the country’s Best Big Band and received the New Orleans Trophy.
Congratulations to both groups and to Head of Performing Arts and Director E. Hare for his continued guidance and support. We look forward to seeing the groups perform at the annual KBB Music Festival in August.