Wellington Jazz Academy has great showing at Surrey Schools jazz festival

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Wellington Secondary School’s senior jazz group earned top honours and 11 students received awards and recognition this past weekend at the 38th Surrey Schools jazz festival.

Wellington Jazz Academy sent a contingent of 46 students from its senior and Grade 9 jazz bands to the competition to bully off against bigger schools from across the Lower Mainland. Wellington band director Carmella Luvisotto said that they didn’t expect numerous awards.

She added that it’s one of the most highly competitive provincial festivals and the schools that they were competing against had 2,000 kids and Wellington’s got 1,000 so they were quite happy that they could hold their own against schools with huge band programs and much of youngsters.

The Wellington senior jazz group was named Best Senior Band and its percussion section was named Best Senior percussion section.

Grade 12 drummer Daniel Mottahedeh took home honours because the festival’s greatest Senior Musician, Best Senior Drummer and Best Senior Auxiliary Percussionist. Grade 11 pianist Petra Dobek was named greatest senior pianist and was awarded a $500 scholarship. Grade 12 trumpeter Rowan Sholberg was named greatest Lead Trumpet Player.

“We had tons of junior students there then for them that was an idea to them of where they might be at some point afterward in their schooling,” Luvisotto said of the seniors’ success.

Tom Lee Music gift cards for “special recognition” visited Mottahedeh, Dobek, Grade 12 drummer Jesse Scott-Bradley, Grade 12 vocalist Isabella Cooper, Grade 11 guitarist Cameron Boudrot, Grade 9 vocalist Sarah Stevenson, Grade 9 bassist Jonathan Pearce, and Grade 9 baritone saxophonist Sandro Jost.

Grade 11 baritone saxophonist Philip Morosan and Grade 10 tenorist Kareem Hassib were named to the Surrey Rep Bands.

The students don’t have an excessive amount of time to rest on the laurels. Today they leave for the Hampton festival at the University of Idaho and next abreast of the festival schedule is that the West Coast festival at VIU in April and MusicFest nationals in Calgary in May.