EYJO is a unique, high-level jazz program, consisting of the extended area’s top high school jazz musicians. This ensemble’s primary focus is on developing the student’s technique, improvisational skills and deepening their understanding of jazz. Includes rhythm, saxophone, trumpet or trombone sectionals from 9-9:30 a.m.
Each year the ensemble does an all-day Saturday recording session in January as part of the Essentially Ellington International Competition. Essentially Ellington is an international high school jazz competition based at Lincoln Center, NYC, under the direction of Wynton Marsalis. The EYJO were finalists in 2003 and winners of the conglomerate section in 2004, 2005 and 2006. In order to pay for the recording session, the band sells about 100 CDs at $5 each.
Besides the competition, the band plays throughout the year at Eastman and in the Greater Rochester area. The band usually plays at least one performance with the Eastman Jazz Lab Band (3rd collegiate jazz ensemble) during the school year. The EYJO also plays 2 – 3 times during the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival. The performance during the XRIJF in the Eastman Theater, featuring Eastman ensembles is one of the highlights of the year. The students in the band are often intending to major in music at the college level. Each year we have several students who go on the Eastman School of Music as well as other wonderful music conservatories across the US.