The Osceola County School for the Arts Jazz Band felt some serious magic recently as Walt Disney World Resort helped them reach their fundraising goal with a $20,000 donation for their upcoming trip to New York where they’ll perform with 14 other high school jazz bands at the the 27th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition & Festival.

“The kids were literally stunned for a moment…as was I,” OCSA’s Jazz Director Mr. Anderson shared. “Disney World has a whole division dedicated to enriching the community around it. Every year they look for opportunities to give back specifically to kids in enriching ways. What it means to us practically speaking is that we don’t have to worry about money anymore! We were already accepted to go to the Essentially Ellington competition, but now we know we can actually go! We had already received some money from the school district, as well as several individuals, but we were nowhere near the marker we needed to reach. This rocketed us to that goal so that now the kids can simply focus on what matters most… their academics and making music.”

The three-day Essentially Ellington festival allows students, teachers and musicians from across North America to participate in workshops, rehearsals and performances, concluding with an evening concert and awards ceremony featuring the three top-placing bands. The show closes with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis performing music from the following year’s EE curriculum.

Positively Osceola wishes the Osceola County School for the Arts Jazz Band the best of luck at the Essentially Ellington festival, and we look forward to featuring the band after the competition.

For more information about the Osceola County School for the Arts visit here.