Plano West Jazz is headed to NYC!
Every year, hundreds of jazz bands from across North America compete to be one of the 15 bands that get to attend the Essential Ellington Competition and Festival in New York City. We are SO excited and proud to announce that for the first time in Plano West history, the Plano West Jazz Ensemble has been selected as one these 15 finalists to play at the 2017 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival in May of 2017!
Not only did Plano West beat out hundreds of public, private, and performing arts high schools, but we also competed against conglomerate arts programs (bands that combine the best talent from all the high schools in their area into a single program) as well.
This year, we are the only band in contest from the state of Texas, and the only band who is going to Essentially Ellington for the first time. Being a 2 year school (11th and 12th grade), every year, half the band graduates (last year in particular, many great players in the band graduated) and the band must be rebuilt. But with the hundreds if not thousands of combined listening, practice, and rehearsal hours we put in, we have not only rebuilt but we have grown; we have EARNED our spot.
On May 11, the finalist bands will arrive in New York City to spend three days immersed in workshops, jam sessions, rehearsals and performances at Jazz at Lincoln Center. On May 13, the Competition & Festival will conclude with a concert and awards ceremony featuring the three top-placing bands and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Often called the Super Bowl for Jazz, this is highest honor a high school jazz band can achieve.
All this being said, we need YOUR help in order make this happen. To make this trip a reality we need to raise $25,000; this would include airfare, hotel accommodations, food, and transportation for 4 nights and 3 days for the entire 22 person band and our director, Preston Pierce. This is an incredible opportunity for Plano to represent itself on a national stage and it would mean the world if you would help us make this dream a reality! As a donor you are supporting the continuation of the great American legacy and art form that is jazz, in a way that brings this music to a huge national audience, a much more impactful contribution than one at the local level would be.
This page is for donations but if you would to contribute by having the Plano West Jazz Band perform at your event, restaurant, or business please contact our Jazz Band Director, Preston Pierce.
Lastly, thank you so much for taking the time to read this and supporting the Plano West Senior High Jazz Band. Your support means so much to us and the community that surrounds us. If you are not able to contribute financially, sharing this with your friends and family, any Plano West students/alumni you know, and community members will go a long way to make this incredible opportunity come true.
Clips from the 3 recordings we submitted to E.E. can be found here: https://youtu.be/upd2Yld_JeE
All festival events and the final concert will be live-streamed online at jazz.org/live and more information on Essentially Ellington is available at jazz.org/ee
Back in 2012, a documentary film was made about the contest called Chops. The trailer can be seen here: http://www.imdb.com/video/screenplay/vi4226023705