From April 5 to April 7, 2019, our “New Soil Ensemble” directed by Gilbert Castellanos competed at the Next Gen Jazz Festival in Monterey. This competitive, audition-only festival brings out the best of the best and this ensemble felt like winners just to be included.

Two of our students took top honors: Zion Dyson won first place in the High School Vocal Soloist competition and Alvin Paige received Outstanding Soloist for his tenor sax work.

The ensemble performed four pieces in the High School Conglomerate Combo category, three of them original compositions by the students (Tiger Diep, Brenda Greggio and Zion Dyson). The rest of the ensemble was filled out with Nick Caldwell, John Murray and Carmen Murray. The ensemble was thrilled to win third place honors in the category.

Check out Diane Bell’s article in the San Diego Union Tribune to learn more.