The winners of the 2017 Fox Jazz Festival High School Jazz Improvisation Contest have been announced. First place is alto saxophonist Ben Stoffel-Murray from Fond du Lac High School and second place is trumpeter Daniel Bomier from Xavier High School. The contest is sponsored by Heid Music.
Both students will perform at the 24th annual free Fox Jazz Festival on Sept. 2 at Jefferson Park in Menasha. The contest is open to all public and parochial high school students in a seven county area of northeast Wisconsin.
The contest is conducted in two parts with the students first sending in recordings of their playing in several jazz styles. From these recordings, judged by John Harmon, Marty Robinson, Ken Skitch and Mike Malone, two students are chosen to perform a live audition with the Big Band Reunion at Frank’s Pizza Palace and a first and second place winner are chosen. The winning students and their schools receive gift certificates for merchandise from Heid Music. The contest is administered by Fox Jazz Fest Education Director Mike Malone.
Ben Stoffel-Murray received high praise from his high school band director Matt McVeigh. “As his director, I cannot speak more highly of the leadership he brings to our jazz program. He routinely schedules and leads sectionals. Ben is adept at making thoughtful decisions on jazz style and articulation which impact the section. Additionally, Ben sets a high standard for soloing which includes transcribing, transposing and incorporating licks from authentic recordings,” states McVeigh.
A full line-up artists and more information regarding the Fox Jazz Festival can be viewed at www.FoxJazzFest.com.
This Competition is Sponsored by Heid Music