The Blog

2016 NJC Youth Jazz Band Competition Results

The Nelson Jazz Club Youth Jazz Band competition took place again this year at the Boathouse on June 17th. Another great turnout – seven bands from five schools in the region. This year there were a number of new players in bands – inevitably students move on so music teachers are faced with reinventing bands every few years. It was fantastic to see the new players – while they are still in the early stages of their jazz career they showed great potential and courage in playing in front of an audience – albeit a very friendly one.

The day started with a free workshop run by our two out of town judges – Gwynn Reynolds and Harry Harrison from Ara Music arts in Christchurch (formerly CPIT). A good turn out of students were able to get some real hand on experience improvising and playing along with Gwynn and Harry as they covered some of the basics of improvising over the blues scales.

After lunch the competition started in earnest. The two big bands started the competition with a punch, then the smaller combos came on. A mixture of styles and experience levels ensured that the large audience were entertained by over three hours of great music covering a range of different jazz genres, and including some great vocals. While the judges deliberated and totalled scores the audience were entertained with a couple of number from the Nelson Jazz Club Youth band, and then prizes and cups were awarded.

Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors we were again able to keep the competition free for schools to enter, and at the same time award cash prizes totalling $1100. Every year teachers make a point of thanking the club for the cash prizes – they are used to help pay for students to travel around New Zealand to take part in other competitions, workshops and performances.

A list of our sponsors:
• The Boathouse (thanks Ali and the team – another great day)
• Beggs Musicworks – a tireless supporter of the jazz club, sponsoring both the adult Big Band and the Youth and, and providing equipment for use at the Youth Competition
• Prices pharmacy
• Kuske eyewear
• Southwind Services
• Smith Painting Services
• Creative Communities NZ – part of their sponsorship also goes to the Youth Band so we are very grateful for their ongoing support.

Finally, the results. With a number of prizes and cups most bands win something every year but it is pleasing to see that several bands comprising new players were able to win a prize – hopefully inspiration for them for next year.

Large Group Category (Nine or more players)
• First place – Nelson College for Girls
• Second place – Motueka High School (Mr Walkers Big Band)

Small Group Category (Less than nine players)
• First place – Waimea College Senior band
• Equal second place Motueka High School – (Billy and Max’s Last Outing)
• Equal second place – Nelson College

• Nelson Jazz Festival Cup (best individual performer) Billy Bathgate, Drums (Motueka High School)
• Tom Rainey Cup (best bass player) Max McAlpine (Motueka High School)
• Ara music cup (best band in competition) Waimea College Senior band
• Ryan Cup (best keyboards) Stuart Gordon
• Ian Clarke Cup (best woodwind) Harvey Barron

Thanks again to all our sponsors, volunteers, supporters and performers – we’ll see you all next year.

Dave North
Nelson Jazz Club

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