The GRAMMY Foundation Selects Students From Across The United States To Participate In The Prestigious GRAMMY Camp® — Jazz Session Program


SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Dec. 14, 2012) — The GRAMMY Foundation® ( announced today that 32 talented high school students from across the United States have been selected for positions in the 2013 GRAMMY Camp® — Jazz Session (formerly known as GRAMMY® Jazz Ensembles). Their selection launches them into the spotlight surrounding the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, and provides them with unparalleled opportunities to perform in front of some of music's biggest names. The students, representing 31 cities and 15 states, will travel to Los Angeles for a weeklong musical adventure under the direction of Justin DiCioccio of the Manhattan School of Music, Dr. Ron McCurdy of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and Dr. Leila Heil of the University of Colorado, Boulder. This year, two members will comprise the GRAMMY in the Schools Media Team, and they will document the GRAMMY Week experience for a range of the GRAMMY Foundation's social media platforms. Many past members of the GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session program go on to enjoy thriving performance careers, including singer/pianist Peter Cincotti (2001), two-time GRAMMY-nominated jazz pianist Gerald Clayton (2002), New York Philharmonic bassist David Grossman (1995), GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Brandon Heath (1994), saxophonist Grace Kelly (2008), and pianist Aaron Parks (2000).

"Since 1993, GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session has provided students with an extraordinary musical experience that brings to life the mission of the GRAMMY Foundation: to foster the next generation of music and its makers," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy®. "While they're here, these young artists will experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when they play with their peers as well as with GRAMMY-nominated and GRAMMY-winning artists at a range of programs during GRAMMY Week."

The selected students will perform at various GRAMMY Week events including — for the fourth year— an appearance at GRAMMY In The Schools® Live! — A Celebration Of Music & Education, sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. This special evening, which is open to the public, will showcase the selectees, along with student alumni from GRAMMY Camp and GRAMMY Signature Schools, with special guest artists on Feb. 6, 2013, at USC. The group will offer another public performance at Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment with a special guest artist on Feb. 7. GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session members will also will attend the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 10 as guests of The Recording Academy and will perform at the GRAMMY Celebration® after-party.

On Feb. 8–9, the young musicians will again record at the legendary Capitol Studios & Mastering in Hollywood, Calif., courtesy of the EMI Music Group. GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles albums from 2007–2012 are available for purchase at online music outlets such as Amazon, iTunes, Napster, and Rhapsody.

The GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session selectees are eligible for more than $2 million in college scholarships made possible through the GRAMMY Foundation's college partners: Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and USC Thornton School of Music. In addition, each selectee's school will receive a professional cymbal courtesy of the Zildjian Company.

The 2013 GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Session members are listed by each student's instrument, role, or voice:


Name                               City         State       School                                                            Part

Kate           Gratson              Brooklyn            N.Y.        Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School                  Soprano

                                                                                    of Music & Art

Elena         Pinderhughes     Berkeley             Calif.      Berkeley High School                                      Soprano

Chloe        Brisson               Hanover              N.H.      Hanover High School                                      Alto

Ashley      Pezzotti              Plantation            Fla.       Miami Arts Charter School                               Alto

Nathan      Heldman           Los Angeles        Calif.      Academy of Music at Hamilton High School   Tenor

Elliott        Skinner             Plano                  Texas      Booker T. Washington High School for the     Tenor

                                                                                    Performing and Visual Arts                            

Chris         Burrus               Nashville            Tenn.      Montgomery Bell Academy                               Bass

Mark         Mekailian          Arcadia               Calif.      Los Angeles County High School for the ArtsBass



James        Francies           Houston              Texas    High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Piano                                                                                                      

Andrew     Sommer            Marietta              Ga.          Indiana University High School                        Bass

Simone     Boszormenyi     San Jose              Calif.      Bentley School                                                 Guitar

Adrian      Cota                  West Covina       Calif.      Los Angeles County High School for the Arts  Drums



Sam            Hart                New City              N.Y.      Clarkstown High School South                        Alto Sax 1

Lenard        Simpson         Milwaukee           Wis.       Wauwatosa East High School                          Alto Sax 2

Matthew     Babineaux      Mesquite             Texas     Booker T. Washington High School for the     Tenor Sax

                                                                                    Performing and Visual Arts                            

Julian          Lee                  Montclair              N.J.       Montclair High School                                     Tenor Sax

Henry          Solomon         Woodside             Calif.     Interlochen Arts Academy                               Bari Sax           

Michael       Raehpour        Witchita                Kan.      Andover High School                                     Trumpet Lead

Nathan        Sparks            Prairie City           Iowa      Southeast Polk Senior High School                 Trumpet 2       

Fernando     Ferrarone       Miami                   Fla.        Felix Varela Senior High School                     Trumpet 3

Aidan          Lombard        Kenilworth           Ill.         New Trier Township High School                    Trumpet Jazz  

Max            Boiko             Sunrise                 Fla.        Dillard High School                                        Trumpet 5

Johnathan   Black             Tucson                 Ariz.      Tucson High Magnet School                           Trombone 1

Coleman     Hughes         Montclair              N.J.       Newark Academy                                             Trombone 2

Blake          Manternach    Coralville             Iowa      West High School                                            Trombone 3

Peter            Wikle              Santa Ana             Calif.     Orange County School of the Arts                Bass Trombone

Matthew      Malanowski    Farmingdale         N.Y.      Farmingdale High School                               Piano

Bob             Bruya             Ellensburg            Wash.    Ellensburg High School                                  Bass 

Francis        Salerno           De Pere                Wis.       De Pere High School                                      Guitar

Fredric        Griggs             Carlisle                 Pa.         Carlisle High School                                     Drums

Media Team

Cameron     Capers  Stone Mountain    Ga.     DeKalb School of the Arts                              

Allison        Spice    Trabuco Canyon  Calif.   Mission Viejo High School                 

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture — from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy®, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. Campbell's Labels for Education program is proud to be the official education partner of the GRAMMY in the Schools programs. For more information, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, please like "GRAMMY in the Schools" on Facebook at and follow @GRAMMYFdn on Twitter at

Media Contacts:

Christina Cassidy/GRAMMY Foundation/310.392.3777/

Hannah Berryman/GRAMMY Foundation/310.392.3777/

Michael Collard/Rogers & Cowan/310.854.8169/

Heather Lewandoski/Rogers & Cowan/310.854.8147/

In the Spotlight

Lani Renaldo



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