MSHS jazz band invited to Essentially Ellington for sixth time

MSHS is one of 18 finalists for the prestigious competition

The Mount Si High School’s (MSHS) jazz 1 band has been invited to perform at the 25th annual Essentially Ellington High School Jazz Band Competition and Festival in New York City.

Launched in 1995, Essentially Ellington aims to elevate musicianship, broaden perspectives and inspire performance.

Throughout the school year, Essentially Ellington provides ongoing support to students and teachers participating in the program. Jazz professionals develop mentoring relationships with students through email correspondence, various conference presentations, and the season-ending festival weekend.

This will be the sixth time MSHS has participated in the festival. This year, MSHS is one of 18 bands in the nation to participate.

Under the direction of Bill Leather, the MSHS band will be joined by four other bands from Washington State including bands from Garfield, Mountlake Terrace, Roosevelt high schools, and Seattle JazzED Ellington Ensemble.

Leather has been leading the band for the past four years. This will be his third time going to Essentially Ellington with the band.

To learn more about the Essentially Ellington competition, go online to