Portsmouth Abbey School's jazz vocal group Enharmonix competed in the Berklee College of Music High School Jazz Festival at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, MA, on February 11, 2017. Berklee's annual event is the largest of its kind in the United States. More than 200 domestic and international schools, a total of more than 3,000 students, perform there every year.
The Enharmonix group, composed of 12 members, competed against performing arts high schools, or schools that have daily classes on jazz and jazz theory. The Enharmonix group at the Abbey is a co-curricular group that practices outside of the daily academic schedule. These dedicated student-musicians and Music Director Jeff Kerr gave up their long winter weekend to practice more than 18 hours for the Berklee competition.
On Saturday morning, February 11, the group performed in front of a jazz-loving audience that included three Berklee College of Music professors, who adjudicated the musicians and provided valuable feedback. The Abbey group placed second at the festival and were within nine points of the top spot, out of 300 total points, closer than the Abbey singers have gotten in the five years they have participated in the competition. Jessica Yang '18 was given the award for outstanding musician within the group.
Because of the Enharmonix second place finish, Berklee College of Music has awarded two Portsmouth Abbey students partial scholarships to their summer performance programs.
" When the music world hears the name Portsmouth Abbey School, they now think excellence, because that is what they have seen on display for the past five years," said Portsmouth Abbey Music Director Jeff Kerr said. "In the past five years with us at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival, there has not been another vocal group that is more decorated with awards than our Enharmonix group."
Portsmouth Abbey School's Enharmonix group is composed of the following student-musicians: Emily Byrne '18 of Portsmouth, RI; Riley Carter '19 of Medway, MA; Lauryn Harper '18 of Plainfield, NJ; Soren Jarbelo '19 of Chino Hills, CA; David Oh '17 of Vancouver, Canada; Callan O'Neil '17 of Wakefield, RI; Rory O'Neil '19 of Wakefield, RI; David Sozanski '19 of Bolton, MA; Adam Suh '18 from Seoul, Korea; John "JP" Walter '18 of Portsmouth, RI; Maya Wilson '17 of Dominican Republic; and Jessica Yang '18 of Tokyo, Japan.
Congratulations to all!
Enharmonix performed for the Portsmouth Abbey School community at assembly just before the competition: