Student musicians from three southern Maine high schools were named the best jazz bands in the state following a weekend competition in Hampden.

South Portland High School’s jazz band won first place in the Division 1 competition of the Maine State High School Instrumental Jazz Festival, which was held Friday and Saturday at Hampden Academy.

Westbrook High School’s jazz band placed second, and Brunswick High School got third place, according to the results released Sunday night by Kris Vigue, vice president of the Maine Music Educators Association.

Numerous awards were handed out to schools from across Maine, but Vigue described the best jazz band competition as the “headliner event.”

Hampden Academy won first place for best jazz band in Division II, with Greely High School in Cumberland finishing second and York High School third.

Bands had to qualify for the competition in Hampden by placing in district competitions.

In the jazz combo category, South Portland High School placed first, followed by Brunswick High School and Westbrook High School in Division 1.

Vigue said the combo category typically involves fewer jazz musicians and more improvisation on each group’s part. Fryeburg Academy placed first in the Division 2 combo while Waynflete in Portland placed first in Division 3.

Several Portland-area students were chosen to receive outstanding musician awards.

In Division 1, the students included: Alex Quinn, South Portland High School, trumpet; Gary Sanville, Westbrook High School, tenor sax; Patrick Brown, Brunswick High School, guitar; and Owen Rudalevige, Brunswick High School, bass.

Nancy Penna-Curran, president of the Maine Music Educators Association, said the next major high school music competition will be the All State Music Festival, May 15-17 at the University of Maine in Orono, where more than 700 Maine students will gather.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

dhoey@pressherald.com