High school jazz ensemble receives national recognition

The National Jazz Honors Project from the Foundation for Music Education recognized the exceptional talent of the Paschal High School Jazz Ensemble from Fort Worth.

The Fort Worth Independent School District announced this week that the ensemble will be receiving a national “Mark of Excellence” recognition in 2022 from the group “dedicated to the advancement and support of music education.”

Those who are interested may see a performance by the Paschal Jazz Ensemble by clicking here.

“We were overjoyed upon hearing the terrific news, and it is already giving us fantastic momentum and energy as we begin our new school year. I am so proud of last year’s group, and it is a joy listening back and reliving the musical moments they achieved,” said Paschal High School Jazz Director & Associate Band Director Matt Sawyer.

According to the Fort Worth Independent School District, the foundation’s “Mark of Excellence” award is given to high school and middle school bands, choirs, and orchestras that have demonstrated “outstanding achievement in performance.”

“The Paschal Jazz Ensemble’s submission was one of many throughout the United States, representing the best programs. A blind panel of nationally renowned directors anonymously judged the entries, and only the top 25% of entrants went on to be recognized as national winners,” the school district said.

Each group performing gets comments from an adjudicator. The jazz group category was judged this year by Aaron Joseph Lington, a baritone saxophonist and composer who has won a Grammy.

“This project is special for many reasons, but the one that sticks out is educational. We receive excellent, specific and direct feedback that not only recognizes the students’ hard work but brings more detail to our eyes on where we can really improve our product as we move forward,” Sawyer said.

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