Shipley Honors Combo Wins First Place at National Jazz Festival

The Shipley Honors Combo, an auditioned jazz ensemble of ten Upper School students led by Director Chris Oatts, won first place in the Small Ensemble Division 2 category at the National Jazz Festival, held April 22 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. 

Ensembles from around the country performed a 20-minute set for 15 adjudicators, both in-person and virtually. Director Chris Oatts said, “The judges raved about their musical maturity and how they represented themselves.” 

In addition, trumpeter Aidan Peterson ‘24 won one of three Outstanding Musician Awards given to the ensembles in the Small Ensemble Division 2 category and also earned the Judge’s Choice Award. Peterson was also the only musician from Pennsylvania chosen to play in the National Jazz Festival Diplomats, a band that performed at the Awards Ceremony.

National Jazz Festival was created in 2019. According to their website, “The National Jazz Festival’s mission is to bring together high school and middle school jazz musicians and educators from across the nation to strengthen music education and performance while cultivating an inclusive, joyful jazz community based on a mutual love of jazz.”
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.