Whiteland band to compete in NY jazz contest

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WHITELAND, Ind. (AP) - An Indiana school’s band is one of 15 finalists for a top music competition being held at New York’s Lincoln Center.

The 16-member group from Whiteland Community High School will compete in the 2014 Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival. The three-day event runs May 8-10 and includes workshops, jam sessions and performances with top musicians.

The school was chosen from about 100 high school bands that submitting recordings of their renditions of jazz tunes made famous by Duke Ellington, The Indianapolis Star reported (http://indy.st/1hyvZ5i ). Other finalists are from Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, Wisconsin, Washington, New Jersey, California and Arizona.

Ahead of the competition, Whiteland students will get to work with trumpeter Marcus Printup during a four-hour teaching clinic scheduled for Friday. Printup, 47, has spent 21 years as a member of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra led by Wynton Marsalis.

“It’s awesome for me too,” Printup said. “We’re very passionate about continuing the legacy of jazz because we love the music. I think it’s a duty for all jazz musicians to teach.”

Whiteland senior Chuck Myers said he hopes to learn what it takes to be a professional trumpet player.

“Music is hopefully going to be my career,” Myers, 18, said. “I get to meet some of the greatest jazz names and musicians … learn how they play and just be a better musician by listening to them.”

The Essentially Ellington Program is in its 19th year and has reached more than 500,000 students across the United States, Canada and abroad, according to the program’s website.

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Information from: The Indianapolis Star, http://www.indystar.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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