Class Got Brass? A School Brass Band Battle

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On Sunday, March, 24 the Class Got Brass middle and high school brass band competition took place at Congo Square in New Orleans.  The competition is put on by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation, which owns the New Orleans Jazz Fest.  The competition was established to continue the New Orleans brass band tradition through middle and high school students.

The bands compete in second-line parade fashion and must adhere to guidelines to promote and keep the brass band tradition.  The bands are limited to a maximum of 12 members with only one bass drum, one snare drum, and one tuba.  The competition is open to public and private middle and high schools from anywhere in Louisiana.

This year all contestants received a gift certificate prize from the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation that may be used to purchase instruments, instrument repairs, and supplies.  First place received $10,000, second place received $6,000, third place received $4,000, and all other participants received $750.

The O. Perry Walker High School “Chosen Ones”

Our three Berklee City Music Network members all play a part in many of the students’ lives who competed in Class Got Brass.  Some of the students in the middle school bands go to The Roots of Music after school program, O. Perry Walker High School has an after school music program sponsored by Young Audiences of Louisiana, and some of the schools receive instruments through the Tipitina’s Foundation Instruments A Comin’ program.

This year 17 bands competed and the competition was tight.  It was a great afternoon of music.

Check out the highlights video of the competition.

2013 Winners

  • 1st Place: O. Perry Walker High School, Band Director – Wilbert Rawlins
  • 2nd Place: KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School, Band Director  – Kelvin Harrison, Sr.
  • 3rd Place: Joseph S. Clark Prep, Band Director – Joe Franklin

2013 Competitors

  • Chalmette High School
  • Cohen College Prep High School
  • Edna Karr High School
  • Eleanor McMain Secondary School
  • Joseph S. Clark Prep
  • KIPP: McDonogh 15 Middle School
  • L.W. Higgins High School
  • Lafayette Academy Charter School
  • Martin Behrman Charter School
  • McDonogh No. 35 High School
  • Medard H. Nelson Charter School
  • O. Perry Walker High School
  • Park Forest Middle School
  • Sophie B. Wright Charter School
  • St. Mary’s Academy High School
  • Warren Easton Charter High School
  • West Jefferson High School

For more information visit: New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation

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