Frost School Winners from DownBeat Magazine’s 35th Annual Student Awards

April 26, 2012 — Coral Gables, FL — The University of Miami Frost School of Music announces its winners from DownBeat’s 35th Annual Student Music Awards. The full list will appear in the June 2012 issue of DownBeat Magazine.

The DownBeat Student Music Awards is an esteemed competition for middle school, high school, and college students to showcase their talent and be recognized for their musical skills.

University of Miami Frost School of Music ensembles and individual students are winners of 13 awards in 2012 – another banner year for the Department of Studio Music and Jazz. A wide range of categories are represented, demonstrating the breadth of the jazz program at the Frost School of Music.

Frost School of Music student Jose Valentino Ruiz is the winner of five individual Downbeat Student Awards for the second year in a row. For his performance on flute, he is the Downbeat Graduate College Winner in the Classical Soloist category, and also the Downbeat Graduate College Winner in the Jazz Soloist category. For his performance on fretless bass and vocal, he is the Graduate College Winner in the Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist category. The Jose Valentino Ruiz World-Fusion Group is the DownBeat Graduate College Winner in the Blues/Pop/Rock Group category, and the Jose Valentino Latin Jazz Ensemble is the Downbeat Graduate College Winner in the Latin Group category. Steve Rucker is the faculty mentor for the ensembles.

The Frost School's Funk Ensemble is the DownBeat Undergraduate College Winner in the Blues/Pop/Rock Group category, and the Fusion Ensemble earns the DownBeat Graduate College Ourstanding Performance award in the Blues/Pop/Rock Group category. Steve Rucker is the faculty mentor for both.

In the arranging and composition areas, Frost School student Ryan Andrews is the DownBeat Graduate College Winner in the Jazz Arrangement category for his arrangement of "Butterfly," and also receives a second award as DownBeat Graduate College Winner in the Engineered Live Recording category. Rafael Piccolotto de Lima earns the DownBeat College Graduate Outstanding Performance award in the Original Composition-Lead Sheet category for “Transfigurações Brasileiras.” Gary Lindsay is the faculty mentor for both students.

Frost School of Music jazz vocal ensembles and soloists also earn three DownBeat Student Awards in 2012. Frost Jazz Vocal Ensemble I under the direction of Larry Lapin earns the DownBeat College Graduate Outstanding Performance award in the Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble category, Kelly Garner, wins the DownBeat College Graduate Outstanding Performance award in the Vocal Jazz Soloist category (Lisanne Lyons, faculty mentor); and the JV1 Extensions Jazz Vocal Ensemble earns the DownBeat College Graduate Outstanding Performance award in the Vocal Jazz Group category (Lisanne Lyons, faculty mentor).

As part of the DownBeat Student Music Awards competition, students record their music on a CD and submit it for judging by professional musicians and educators from across the country. Judging criteria is based on musicianship, creativity, improvisation, technique, sound quality and balance, excitement and authority. Awards are given in 15 categories in five different divisions.

Click here to download a PDF of the complete list.


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UM Frost School's Vocal Jazz Group 'Extensions' wins 2012 DownBeat Student Award in the Graduate College Outstanding Performance category.