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Medfield High School Jazz Band Places First At Charles Mingus Competition

Editor's Note: The following information was provided by Cathy Curbow and Alison O'Leary Murray.

The Medfield High School Jazz Band began its February school vacation in exciting fashion, taking first place in the Charles Mingus Institute's High School Band Competition in New York on Feb. 19-20.

The trombone section was named outstanding section and MHS senior Kevin Holbrook was awarded outstanding soloist at the competition. Holbrook recalled a past experience of performing with the band in New York at the Essentially Ellington Competition, while he was a freshman, inspired him to work hard and get where he is at today with his music.

"To see that kind of enthusiasm and hard work it takes to get to that level, the top players have such passion," Holbrook said. "That's what inspired me."

Charles Mingus, founded the Jazz Workshop that exposed young composers to audiences and was a jazz composer in the 1940s and 50s. Medfield's Jazz Band competed against Lexington and Wellesley High Schools in New York and was led by Music Director Doug Olsen. 

Olsen, a Mingus fan, played in a Mingus tribute band for seven years and was happy to share his passion for jazz with his students.

"This is a unique opportunity for the kids to hang out with the musicians and play," Olsen said. 

The band will play for the public at the annual Jazz Night on April 29 at The Lowell Mason Auditorium in the high school. 

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