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Albany High jazz bands go home with gold

ALBANY, N.Y. (Feb. 20, 2018) -- The Jazzmanian Devils – Albany High School’s advanced and intermediate jazz bands – both received the highest rankings Thursday at the 15th annual Fonda-Fultonville Jazz Festival.


Under the direction of Albany High music teacher John Halvorsen, each ensemble earned a Gold ranking from four judges who are masters in jazz performance.


The advanced group performed For Minors Only by Jimmy Heath, In a Sentimental Mood by Duke Ellington and Moanin’ by Charles Mingus (arranged by Halvorsen). The intermediate group performed Cantaloupe Island by Herbie Hancock, Strasbourg St Denis by Roy Hargrove and Birdland by Joe Zawinul (arranged by Halvorsen).


Members of Jazzmanian Devils 1, the advanced group, are:

  • Robert Ackerman, drums

  • Matan Adler, keyboard

  • Ness Anderson, baritone saxophone

  • Richard Andrews, drums

  • Logan Bennett, trumpet

  • Ian Boldiston, vibes

  • Matthew Flynn, drums

  • Ryan Ginnan, clarinet

  • Ian Gutierrez, guitar

  • Max Heller, guitar

  • Mike O'Neil, bass

  • Toussaint Santicola-Jones, alto saxophone


Members of Jazzmanian Devils 2, the intermediate group, are:

  • Julia Azarian-Kozer, alto saxophone

  • Polina Cassela, bass and flute

  • Elena Fasullo, drums

  • Aejay Gonzales, soprano saxophone

  • Marc Manantan, keyboard and melodica

  • Sean O'Neil, alto saxophone

  • Themba Pieterse, trumpet

  • Lee Reh, guitar

  • Sam Weinstein, drums


Congratulations to these outstanding musicians!


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves nearly 9,700 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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