Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble takes top prize

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APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) — Lawrence University Jazz Ensemble (LUJE) earned a top DownBeat magazine prize for the second consecutive year on Tuesday. 

DownBeat magazine announced its annual Student Music Awards, putting Lawrence at the top.

This distinction names LUJE the winner in the undergraduate Large Jazz Ensemble category in the magazine’s 42nd Student Music Awards competition. 

Patty Darling, a music professor in the Lawrence Conservatory of Music who also oversees the ensemble says, 

“The students in the Jazz Ensemble work together on music that is unique, challenging, and a joy to perform.

This includes a lot of contemporary jazz rep and premier works from Lawrence’s student jazz composers and arrangers.”

This is the fifth time in the ensemble’s history that it has received this honor. It has been recognized in 1985, 2000, 2007, and 2018.

According to Lawrence University, DownBeat’s Student Music Awards are top-tier honors in the world of jazz education. Awards are presented in 13 categories in five separate divisions, ranging from junior high to graduate college. 

Students and ensembles in the Lawrence Conservatory have won a combined 28 of these awards. 

“It is a privilege to work with such talented, dedicated musicians who are so receptive and have such down-to-earth attitudes,” Darling said. “We are incredibly proud of them and I am very grateful to the jazz faculty who are their mentors.”  

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