There was a big celebration this morning at North High School in Eau Claire for the school's jazz ensemble. The director had a big announcement that they were named one of the top 15 jazz bands in the nation.
North High School jazz ensemble is used to playing on stages like this in their high school but director Bruce Hering is about to let them know today the big news that they'll be playing on a much bigger stage as one of the best jazz ensembles in the country.
These north high students got the news they've been waiting for. They will be going to New York City in may for the Essentially Ellington jazz competition.
"You started with 1,500 bands in the whole country that get this packet and its whittles down to 1% of the country. 15 bands out of 50 states and all of Canada and you're one of those 15 and we're going to New York City baby," announced Hering. He also said it was a unanimous decision that they would be invited to the competition.
"Seriously I'm still shaking right now. It's crazy since i didn't expect coming in here as a freshman among all these seniors and juniors it would be my year that made it because it's crazy. I don't know what to think of it," says freshman bass player Emmet Quint.
The band will meet Grammy winner Wynton Marsalis and play at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York where they will compete to be one of the top three bands selected for the competition.
"This is really awesome! Yeah, I've been looking forward to this all year," says senior alto saxophone player Angie Coyle.
The band has been working for the past two years to be part of this competition. "Last year we got even better and i don't know i was just really hoping because as a senior year...ah this is just going to be the best thing," explains senior trombone player Logan Wallace.
The students give a lot of credit to their director. "Our band has come so far in since a couple years ago and it's just amazing we've done this and we actually get to go," says Coyle. "This a very talented group of kids. I'm really happy to be here at north to work with these kids, but without their work and their effort and talent it wouldn't happen," says Hering.
Besides the North High jazz band, Beloit Memorial and Genoa City Union High Schools will all represent the state of Wisconsin when the competition begins on May 4th.