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KU Jazz Studies students earn top honors in national jazz competition

Monday, April 29, 2013

LAWRENCE, KS — Students in the KU School of Music Jazz Studies Program received five awards from DownBeat magazine’s 36th Annual Student Music Awards.

Four students won awards in the following categories: Original Composition – Lead Sheet (undergraduate division), Original Composition – Orchestrated Work (graduate division) and Jazz Arrangement (graduate division).

David von Kampen, a doctoral student pursuing a music composition degree and previous DownBeat award recipient, received two awards in the graduate division. He is the winner in the Original Composition - Orchestrated Work category for “Soft Glow, Sharp Edges” and received an Outstanding Performance Award in the Jazz Arrangement category for “The Tourist.”

Clint Ashlock, pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts in trumpet, was named the winner of the Jazz Arrangement category (graduate division) for “Nebula.”

In the undergraduate division, Brock Chart (“Northern Lights”) and Devin Wright (“Imploding Man”) both received Outstanding Performance awards in the Original Composition – Lead Sheet category. Chart is a senior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in music composition, while Wright was a senior pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Jazz Studies in 2012.

All of the winning compositions and arrangements were written for and recorded by the top ensembles in the KU Jazz Studies Program: Jazz Ensemble I, Combo I, and the Jazz Singers. The Program is under the direction of Dan Gailey, director of jazz studies at KU. Under Gailey’s leadership, the Program has received 17 DownBeat awards since 1992.

"The DownBeat awards are about excellence and recognition of a job well done. Our students compete for these awards against the finest jazz studies programs in the United States, so it is especially rewarding to have their work recognized in this setting,” Gailey said. “It is definitely a team effort--the composers and arrangers, performers, and our exceptional recording engineer Colin Mahoney all contributed to this year's success."

DownBeat, one of the world's leading jazz and contemporary music publications, presents the awards annually. Students and educators nominate themselves in an open call for recorded performances and applications. Nearly 1,000 entries were submitted across 16 categories this year. Award winners are notified in the late spring and the list will be published in the June edition of the magazine.

About DownBeat Student Music Awards
The DownBeat Student Music Awards, founded in 1976, are considered the most prestigious awards in jazz education. Hundreds of musicians, music educators and music industry professionals received their first international recognition as DownBeat Student Music Award winners. At least six winners have gone on to appear on the cover of DownBeat as professional artists. Scores have been featured in the magazine and have won either Critics or Readers Poll honors.

For more information, contact the KU School of Music at 785-864-3436. music.ku.edu.

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