Miami Norland Senior High, Dillard Center For the Arts win high honors in music competitions

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) - Bands at two South Florida schools took home prestigious awards from musical competitions throughout the nation.

Band members of the Miami Norland Senior High and Dillard Center For the Arts in Fort Lauderdale both left their competition on a high note.

Norland’s High Wind Symphony competed in Tennessee and brought back the top award of “grand champion” at the 2018 Grand National Adjudicators Invitational in Chattanooga.

“This is amazing for all the hard work and dedication everyone put in,” said Miami Norland High student Kadeejah Walton. “The endless days, the practice. It really paid off.”

Their quest for accolades didn’t end there.

One weekend later, the ensemble earned Florida’s highest honor given to a high school band program for a perfect record of superior ratings from all the judges at all Florida band assessments throughout the year.

“This is just something we want to continue to build upon,” said Miami Norland High director Darryl Baker. “We’re just really proud of all of the students here and all of the stakeholders here in our community.”

Students at Dillard Center For the Arts also earned high honors. They took part in the 23rd annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival at the Lincoln Center in New York City.

The musicians had three days of mentoring, jam sessions and workshops with some of jazz’s finest.

“You can just feel the energy hit you,” said Dillard Center For The Arts student Miles Lennox. “It’s just so different, magical in a sense, so it was awesome.”

“Really, really incredible, because I didn’t know I would ever have the chance to interact with amazing jazz musicians,” said fellow Dillard student Summer Camargo.

The event culminated in a major win for Dillard after defeating 14 other schools from across the nation to take home the competition’s top prize.

“We put so much hard work into this, and just to come out with a victory, it’s amazing,” Lennox said.

The band won a trophy and $5,000 to improve their jazz education program.

The band’s director said he’s just proud of his students’ hard work.

“A legacy has been built here, a legacy that can go on for a long time,” said band director Christopher Dorsey. “You build something so it can keep going but yeah, very proud.”

Camargo also won the festival’s student composition and arranging contest.

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