Lower Merion High School’s Henry Koban Payne was selected as the winner of the 11th Annual Dr. J. Douglas White Essentially Ellington Student Composition & Arranging Contest! Payne’s original piece, entitled Too Selfish, was picked by a distinguished panel of judges, including world-famous trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis, from a nationwide pool of student-composers, which included finalists from California, Wisconsin, Washington, Michigan, Massachusetts, Florida, Texas, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
The Lower Merion sophomore trombonist was handsomely rewarded for his estimable efforts as he had his award-winning composition recorded by the illustrious Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, received a cash prize of $1,000 and enjoyed a composition lesson with Ted Nash, a GRAMMY award-winning musician and longtime Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra member. Payne also received an all-expenses-paid trip to New York to observe and participate in the Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival, which was held earlier this May.
Photo Credit: The thumbnail photo of Payne playing trombone is from a Philadelphia Inquirer article about how Payne and a handful of other young and talented Philadelphia-area musicians having the incredible opportunity to be mentored by composer and music producer Anthony Tidd. To read more, click here!