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Mount Si Jazz Rocks the Stage at New York’s Essentially Ellington


Congratulations to Mount Si High School Jazz band students, teachers and chaperones who participated in the 2022 Essentially Ellington Jazz Festival & Competition at New York’s Lincoln Center May 5-7. 


The students had an incredible performance, amongst 14 other phenomenal high school bands invited from across the nation!  Our students were also honored with the following awards from Wynton Marsalis and the rest of the judges' panel:

  • Honorable Mention Rhythm Section - Jonas Medford (piano), Lance Taber (guitar), Sam Clavero (bass), Ethan Horn (drums)
  • Outstanding Saxes - Nate Wray, Jamie Pankratz, Ali Jaffery, Mariel Nolan, Henrik Howard
  • Outstanding Trombone Section - Urielle Lockwood, Haven Beares, Sam Chen, Annika Bjorn
  • Outstanding Trumpets- Ethan Palomo, Anna Grez, Dylan Abramson, Jordan Depue
  • Outstanding Brass Plunger Section - all trombones & trumpets above! (*The only band in the whole festival to receive this award!)
  • Best Band Balance- Entire band! (*The only band in the whole festival to receive this award!)
  • Outstanding Rhythm Guitar - Lance Taber (*Only guitarist awarded this for the entire festival!)
  • Honorable Mention Drums - Ethan Horn
  • Outstanding Alto Saxophone - Nate Wray
  • Honorable Mention Trombone - Urielle Lockwood

Find more information about Essentially Ellington, including all 2022 awards at:


“Essentially Ellington was life changing for these young people (just ask them!), and we could not have done it without the many supporters of these incredible students. We are filled with joy and gratitude to be able to have this experience,” explained Mount Si Band Director Bill Leather.


“To my recollection, this is the most awards we have ever received as a program at this festival!  However, what we are most proud of is how our students supported each other, other bands, and all the directors throughout the entire festival,” he added. “One of the most powerful moments for me was when every student in the festival gave all the band directors a standing ovation that lasted over 10 minutes - longer than this has ever happened at this festival in the past. The future is bright with these thoughtful, caring, and dedicated young people at the helm!”


Mount Si High School at Essentially Ellington

May 7, 2022


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Posted May 12, 2022