By Laurel Hollis
, directed by and Max Kiesner, has yet another feather in its cap.
Rio's AM Jazz Ensemble was selected as one of 15 finalists from across the United States and Canada. The festival, held annually at New York City's Lincoln Center and directed by Wynton Marsalis, is considered the 'Super Bowl' of high school jazz.
After a particularly inspired performance, the band received a long, standing ovation from an appreciative crowd of high school and professional musicians, music directors and families. Rio received an Honorable Mention and placed fourth overall.
This is Rio's highest placement in six trips to the prestigious jazz festival.
The following Rio musicians also received individual awards: Paul Slater (Outstanding Drums), Andrew Stephens (Outstanding Trumpet), Michael Wang (Outstanding Trombone) and Emery Mesich (Honorable Mention, Saxaphone). Band members returned home tired, happy and determined to begin preparing for next year's festival.