UA trombone ensemble wins international competition


The University of Akron Jazz Trombone Group has won the 2013 Kai Winding Jazz Trombone Ensemble Competition of the International Trombone Association and been invited to give the featured performance at the association's festival in Columbus, Ga., in July.

Members of the Jazz Trombone Group are, from left in the back row: Greg Kern, Liz Hough, Max Brady and Jason Hadgis. In the front row, from left, are Alex Davies, Sam McKenzie, Sam Blakeslee and Brian Griffin.

The international competition is one of the most prestigious awards in the trombone field. Recent winners have included ensembles from the University of Illinois, Rutgers University, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, the University of North Texas and the Juilliard School of Music. The UA ensemble won second place in the same competition in 2011 and 2012.

Under the direction of UA Professor Jack Schantz, the UA Jazz Trombone Group has also been invited to perform in May at the German Music Festival 2013 in Chemnitz, Akron's sister city. The festival is the largest in Germany, drawing some 15,000 participating musicians and 150,000 visitors.

Fundraising is under way to help finance the students' airfare. The cities of Akron and Chemnitz have also pledged to support the trip.

The UA student musicians are:

Sam Blakeslee — Columbus
Max Brady — Akron
Alex Davies — Natrona Heights, Pa.
Brian Griffin — Parma
Jason Hadgis — Wadsworth
Liz Hough — Canton
Greg Kern — Jamison, Pa.
Sam McKenzie — Mazzulla, Mont.

Visit the School of Music online to hear a sound clip of the Jazz Trombone Group.

Media contact: Cyndee Snider, 330-972-5196 or