CEHS Concert Jazz wins 2nd place at Berklee HIGH SCHOOL JAZZ FESTIVAL 2019

Individual award winners Ryan Oberholtzer (saxophone) and Alex Hansen (piano)

Individual award winners Ryan Oberholtzer (saxophone) and Alex Hansen (piano)

CEHS Concert Jazz is directed by Tom Lizotte and comprised of (photo of full band below):

Sydney McFarland: flute
Shane Kennedy: alto sax
Henry Rutty: alto sax
Ryan Oberholtzer: tenor sax
Joey Lancia: tenor sax
Katherine Clay: bari sax
Dylan Foote: trombone
Zach Merrill: trombone
Jack Sands: trombone
Karli Chapin: trumpet
Tim Gilda: trumpet
Hunter Grimes: trumpet
Aiden Lee: trumpet
Ben Payson: trumpet
Luke O’Kelly: bass
Hudson Christie: tuba
Paul Misterovich: drums
Harry Baker: guitar
Alex Hansen: piano

This year’s Berklee Jazz Festival was a special one for CEHS students and CEHS Music Director Tom Lizotte. The day before the January 26th festival, Tom and the members of the Steve Grover combo were invited to Berklee for a clinic and ceremonies honoring Tom as the John LaPorta 2019 Jazz Educator of the Year. The day included a private clinic with Berklee faculty member Jeff Claussen, a panel discussion, presentations by Tom’s colleagues and an open rehearsal with a Berklee group that included saxophonist Jeff Coffin of the Dave Matthews Band.

At the festival the following day, CEHS Concert Jazz delivered a great performance to a packed audience and won second place in its division (L5). In all, some 200 groups from the United States and Puerto Rico competed at this year’s Berklee High School Jazz Festival.

In addition to the team honor, tenor saxophonist Ryan Oberholtzer won the Outstanding Musicianship Award and pianist Alex Hansen won the Superior Musicianship Award. Alex also won the Most Valuable Player in the CEHS Concert Jazz.

At the awards ceremony that evening, Tom was officially recognized by Berklee in a presentation by Bob Sinicrope, president of the Jazz Education Network (the national jazz educators’ association). JEN had originally made this presentation to Tom at its national convention in Reno, NV in January.