The Cherry Hill West Jazz Ensemble recently placed 3rd at the New Jersey Association for New Jersey State Jazz Finals held on April 30. The state Jazz Educators organization holds the competition annually and begins in early March with 5 nights of preliminaries across the state and the top nine scoring bands then qualify for the State Finals.
At the finals the top 3 bands are awarded trophies and it is the first time West has done this. On March 9 the band competed in their prelims and that night had one of the top scores of the evening and was awarded the trophy for Outstanding Trumpet Section. Two students, Owen Dodd (Alto Sax – Grade 11) and Chris Baldarrago (Guitar – Grade 12), were awarded Outstanding Soloists awards.
The West Jazz Combo (a select group out of full band) were also selected to represent South Jersey at the State Teen Arts Festival on June 2. That honor was based on their performance at the Camden County Teen Arts Festival on April 29th. The band is under the direction of Jim Mark, who is in his 22nd year at West.