The Harborfields High School Jazz Band recently received notification that it was selected as one of five finalists in the 2023 MADD Battle of the High School Jazz Bands. Aiming to increase awareness about MADD while celebrating jazz programs across Long Island, this annual event, now in its second year, is an audition-based competition. Finalists were selected by a panel jury that screened video submissions from each school that applied, and Harborfields’ jazz band was the only group in Suffolk County to be chosen as a finalist in both the first and second years of the event.
On March 1, at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury, the five finalist ensembles each performed two selections for adjudicators and a supportive crowd, and a variety of speakers brought home the importance of MADD’s mission. Harborfields took second place overall, second place in the soloist category (Kam Johansen, trumpet) and top honors in the rhythm section area.
“It was wonderful to receive some recognition for our efforts,” HHS Jazz Band Director Dan Bilawsky said, “but the best part of the evening was having the chance to support a worthy cause, play some music and cheer on other schools’ programs. We wholeheartedly thank everyone who showed their support, everybody involved from other participating schools for sharing their positive energy, and MADD for coordinating this event and continuing to drive home an important message.”