Winnipeg jazz student wins international award
Devon Gillingham to have piece recorded at Lincoln Centre in New York
Posted: Feb 26, 2013 12:31 PM CST
Last Updated: Feb 26, 2013 10:24 PM CST
A Winnipeg high-school student will make his mark on the New York jazz scene this spring.
Devon Gillingham, 17, has won an international prize for Remember to Forget, a jazz tune he wrote and arranged. The Transcona Collegiate student is the first winner of the Essentially Ellington Gerhard W. Vosshall Student Composition/Arranging contest.
He will travel to New York City in May to have his tune played and recorded by the Lincoln Centre Orchestra.
"These people are incredible musicians, and I'm just a kid from Winnipeg, who just happened to write a tune," Gillingham told CBC News.
Gillingham said it took about six weeks to create the five-minute piece for big bands through a special course created by his school’s music teacher. It required him to write for six different instruments, only two of which he plays.
The Grade 12 student heads to New York in May to meet the orchestra, headed by jazz trumpet icon Wynton Marsalis and take part in the Essentially Ellington festival learn from the best.
Devon's music teacher, Dan Steinhilber, says he isn't surprised his student won, calling the accomplishment huge.
"This is not Mary had a Little Lamb anymore, this is pretty serious music he has written," said Steinhilber, who has been teaching Devon since Grade 6. A year later he invited Gillingham to play in his own band made up of adults.
"The cool thing about Devon is as a student he is always focused on trying to learn more and going after knowledge.
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