EDISON, NJ - On Saturday evening, April 30, John P. Stevens High School hosted the New Jersey State Jazz Finals where 9 of the top-ranked jazz bands performed.  The John P. Stevens Jazz Ensemble, directed by Andrew DeNicola, placed 1st overall, winning best saxophone section, trumpet section, and “Best Sight-Reading Band.”  The John P. Stevens Lab Jazz Band, directed by John Zazzali, placed 4th overall.  Lab Jazz member, Brian Jiang (flugelhorn), was 1 of 4 students recognized for Outstanding Soloist. Two jazz ensemble members, Zachary Kibel (flugelhorn) and Varun Das (drums), were identified as honorable-mention soloists.

The John P. Stevens High School Wind Ensemble, directed by Andrew DeNicola, was selected to perform at the Closing Concert of the 18th Annual State Gala Concert, held at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.  The Concert was held on Sunday, May 1.  The Wind Ensemble was chosen to perform at this event based on their superior performance at the recent CJMEA Concert Band Festival this past March.

Other accolades this season include a staggering “48” students from JPS who were selected through audition to the 2016 Central Jersey Region Band with “28” of those students selected to the 2016 New Jersey All-State Band.  These students represent the highest number from any one school in New Jersey!

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Andrew DeNicola earned the National Federation of State High Schools Association (NFHS) "Outstanding Music Educator Award.” The Music Advisory Committee selected the recipients based on their significant contributions to high school music activities. The awards recognize high school or college band, choral or orchestral directors, supervisors and adjudicators. This year, eight individuals were winners throughout the United States.

Congratulations to Mr. DeNicola, Mr. Zazzali, and the entire John P. Stevens High School Band Program on their outstanding accomplishments.