On College Day at the 2007 Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival last week, five different WSU jazz soloists and ensembles took top honors in their division.

“I am gratified that WSU was recognized for excellence across the musical spectrum, from ensembles to individuals, from instrumental soloists to vocal soloists and from performance to composition,” said Greg Yazinitsky, Meyer Distinguished Professor and coordinator of WSU’s jazz studies program. “I am extremely proud of our students and faculty.”

The WSU Jazz Big Band, under Yazinitsky’s direction, earned first place in the College Guest Band division and received the Adjudicator’s Special Commendation award. In individual performances, Matt Lanka received the Outstanding College Baritone Sax Solo Award, Troy Robey earned the Outstanding College Bass Solo Award, John Gronberg received the Outstanding College Vocal Tenor Solo Award and  Adam Donohue was awarded the Outstanding Instrumental Composition prize. The WSU Quartet directed by Horace-Alexander Young was selected as a runner up in the Outstanding Instrumental Combo division.

Additionally, two WSU students: Adam Donohue, tenor saxophone; and John Gronberg, trumpet, were invited to perform with the Hampton NY Big Band on Saturday evening.

The four-day festival attracted thousands of students from elementary school through college. On College Day, students from 130 different college programs, traveling from throughout the west and as far away as Massachusetts.