Big Berklee win for Fryeburg Academy’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble!

FRYEBURG — The winning music tradition continues at Fryeburg Academy.

Fryeburg Academy’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble took first place at Saturday’s 43rd annual Berklee High School Jazz Festival in Boston.

The 16-member group has won five consecutive Maine state championships and this is their third win at Berklee in the last decade.

The Berklee Festival is the largest high school jazz fest in the country with more than 3,000 students and over 200 ensembles from all over the country and beyond.

Congratulations to group members: Kelsey Sheehan, Naomi Ela, Jon Dana, Andrea Oulette, Kevin Brown, Bjorn Myhre, Matt Stoker, Connor Sheehan, Jiahao Gu, Devin LaCasce, Ali Gagnon, Audrey Boyd, Samantha Kruguer, Eliza Neidlinger, Nikki Shivers and Simone Marie.

The Academy’s jazz combo, featuring Kelsey Sheehan (bass), Jon Dana (drums), Naomi Ela (piano) and Devin LaCasce (alto sax, flute) received an honorable mention. Devin also received three judges’ choice awards for outstanding soloist in an ensemble. The ensembles are directed by Academy’s longtime music director, Brent LaCasce.

FA’s jazz groups travel to the Clark Terry/University of New Hampshire Jazz Festival this Saturday, March 12 and then move on to Maine State festivals in late March and early April.

All groups will perform at the Academy’s Jazz Cabaret on Tuesday, March 22 at Fryeburg’s Leura Hill Eastman Performing Arts Center. Tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 935-9232 or by visiting Join FA Jazz on Facebook for the latest news and performance information.

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