Thursday, May 16, 2013


By Chuck Graham,


One of those five big bands directed by Doug Tidaback is the Tucson Jazz Institute’s Ellington Big Band, freshly returned from being named Best High School Band in the nation after performing on stage in the Essentially Ellington competition in New York City’s own Lincoln Center.

Now is the time for Tucson’s audience to hear how they did it, note for note! From the Baked Apple to the Big Apple as hopeful contestants and back again to the Baked Apple as conquering heroes, these teen musicians are the apple of our eye...and our ear..

Also winning special awards for their outstanding solo work are band members Sam Chess, trombone; Alan Acosta, alto sax, Alex Melnychuck, trumpet, and Robbie Lee on vocals, piano and sax..

Lee’s performances as singer, pianist and saxophonist were such crowd favorites he was given a special triple threat award, called The Tripler. No one in the history of this competition has won such an award before.

Additionally, the Ellington Big Band took home trophies for having the most outstanding trumpet section and trombone section.

After that, there weren’t too many trophies left for the other 14 bands in the high school category to share.

This Spring’s Big Band Bash five-band concert, silent auction and raffle to benefit the TCMS Foundation is 3 p.m. Sunday, May 19, at Christ Community Church, 7801 E. Kenyon Dr. Tickets are $20 adults, $15 students and senior citizens, free for ages 11 and under. For details 520-971-6694.


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