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MCI Places First at Berklee College High School Jazz Festival
Posted 02/21/2018 09:14AM

PITTSFIELD—The Maine Central Institute (MCI) Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Caravan, earned first place at the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival on February 10, competing with several schools from throughout the country. Caravan performed "Taking A Chance On Love," "Undertow," and "American Tune," all arranged by Dean Neal, and "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To," which was arranged by Catherine Jensen-Hole. As winners, MCI student performers were asked to give the finale performance at the annual festival that was held at Hynes Auditorium in Boston, MA.

Noted Headmaster Christopher J. Hopkins, "Each year that MCI participates in the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, our students consistently provide impressive, award-winning performances. We are proud of our student achievements and our outstanding music program led by Dean Neal."

"The students were thrilled to perform in such a professional atmosphere," commented Dean Neal. "They continue to impress with their level of preparation and attention to detail. I am thankful for the opportunity to work with these fine people."

MCI vocalists Lily Miller '19 and Addi Williams '18 received "Outstanding Musicianship" awards in their classifications. MCI was one of 19 Maine schools that competed, and one of four schools from Maine to win at the festival. This year, 138 schools from 15 states sent bands and vocal ensembles to compete for scholarships to various Berklee summer programs.

Established in 1969, the Berklee High School Jazz Festival is the country's largest high school jazz competition. Free to the public, the event is held every February at Boston's Hynes Auditorium.

MCI ( is the secondary school for the towns of Pittsfield, Burnham and Detroit. MCI enrollment includes day students from 14 Maine communities, and boarding students from six states and 18 countries. MCI offers accelerated and advanced placement courses in all subjects as well as 18 sports teams and 40 clubs and activities. The school is known for its award-winning arts programs that include visual, vocal, band, drama, and the world-class Bossov Ballet Theatre, which is a performing company and international pre-professional ballet school with instruction by former and current members of the Moscow Ballet. The School's sports programming is also strong. In the fall of 2017, the MCI Field Hockey team won the Class B State Championship and the Football team won the Class C State Championship.

For more information, please call (207) 487-5915.

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