Gerald Ricke, Director of Bands
address: 18725 Bates Avenue, Eustis, FL 32736
phone: 352-357-6220

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Eustis Mustang Jazz Ensemble

The Eustis Middle School Jazz Ensemble has been in existence since 1997 as a part of the EMS Band programs. The band consists of seventh and eighth grade band students selected through an audition process. These students also participate in the advanced concert band and marching band. The jazz ensemble has the traditional instrumentation of saxophones, trumpets, trombones, and rhythm section. This group rehearses daily with emphasis on jazz styles, articulations, improvisation, rhythms, terminology, and listening skills. This group plays a variety of big band styles like swing, Latin, and jazz rock.
In 2004 the ensemble attended the Smoky Mountain Music Festival in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, receiving straight Superior ratings and first place in the Middle School Jazz Ensemble category.
In 2005 this group attended the Fiesta-val Invitational Music Festival in Williamsburg, VA receiving straight Superior ratings, Outstanding Achievement Awards for the saxophone, brass, and rhythm sections, Outstanding Soloist award, the First Place Jazz Ensemble award, and the Champion Jazz Ensemble award.
In 2006 the group attended the Fiesta-val Music Festival in Myrtle Beach SC where they received a Superior rating and First Place for their division. The Eustis Middle Mustang Jazz Ensemble also played for over 1000 Fiesta-val musician participants at the invitation of John Savage, National Director of Fiesta-val Music Festivals. This was a first for the festival.
In 2007 the Eustis Middle School Mustang Jazz Band competed at the Lakeside Jazz Festival in Port Orange, Florida and received a Superior rating as well as the Most Outstanding Middle School Band Award.
The Jazz Band participated in the Dixie Music Classic Music Festival at Virginia Beach in May of 2007.  The jazz band was ranked first in their division and received straight superior ratings.
The EMS Jazz Ensemble traveled to the Fiesta-val Music Festival in Washington DC in 2008. They received straight Superior ratings and First Place in the Middle School Jazz Ensemble Division, Jazz Champions, Outstanding saxophone section, Outstanding Brass section, Outstanding trumpet, tenor saxophone, and trombone soloist.
The Jazz Band participated in the Dixie Music Classic Music Festival at Atlanta in May of 2009.  The jazz band was ranked first in their division and received straight superior ratings. Three soloists received Festival Honor Awards of Distinction.
These distinctive awards add to the awards received by the Eustis Middle School Band program each year which include straight Superior ratings for both the Jazz Band and Concert Band at the Florida Bandmasters District 19 Music Performance Assessment for the last nine years.
The band has been invited to perform for many different organizations and events throughout the past years including the Lake County Education Foundation, the Teacher of the Year Banquet, Jazz in Ferran Park, Kiwanis, Universal Studios, Washington’s Birthday Parade, Eustis Art Festival, Orlando Magic, L.C. Swing Band, the Eustis Rotary as well as numerous other organizations. The band performs throughout the Golden Triangle area approximately twenty times a year.

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