43rd National Youth Jazz winners announced

Pukekohe High School Big Band winners of the New Orleans Trophy for Best Big Band. Photo: Supplied.

Jazz bands and combos from Auckland, Pukekohe and Wellington took out some of the top trophies at this year’s National Youth Jazz Competition, held on Wednesday and Thursday in the Addison Theatre.

The Best of Festival Trophy for the most outstanding jazz band was presented to Crumbly Jack and Mel Stevenson Combo from Wellington with the New Orleans Trophy for most outstanding Big Band going to Pukekohe High School Big Band.

The Norman Family Trophy for Best Jazz Combo was won by Avondale Quartet from Avondale College, Auckland.

Michael van Lieshout from Tauranga Boys' College won the Mayers Music Centre Most Outstanding Guitarist Trophy, and Tauranga Boy's Combo One won the L & M Mason Trophy for Best Musicianship Combo.

There were more competitors at this year’s National Youth Jazz Competition than at any other time in the competition’s history says National Youth Jazz Competition Manager Liam Ryan.

“We had a record number of 400 registrations from 30 secondary schools as far and wide as Christchurch to Orewa,” says Liam.

Louis Holland winner of the George Rawiri Trophy for the most outstanding musician. Photo: Supplied.

The 43rd National Youth Jazz Competition held at Baycourt Community and Arts Centre on Wednesday March 31 and Thursday April 1 featured the most competitors in its 43-year history.

The judges’ Dr Rodger Fox and Eilish Wilson from New Zealand School of Music - NZSM, Dr Roger Manins from University of Auckland and Ben Wilcock from Toi Ohomai were impressed by the standard of excellence of performance from the young musicians.

Head judge Dr Rodger Fox felt the standard of combos and big bands was improving year to year, in large partly due to the schools returning to the competition and building on their performances each time.

“It’s very encouraging to see the competition continuing to grow; it shows it is valued by the schools,” says Dr Fox. “The bands are very receptive to feedback and this is showing in the band performances. It’s great to see students really working on improvisational playing.”

Michael van Lieshout Tauranga Boys' College winner of the Mayers Music Centre Most Outstanding Guitarist Trophy. Photo: Supplied.

After performing, the combos and big bands had a workshop with a judge, receiving immediate feedback on their performance - a total of 45 workshops.

Manager Liam Ryan says this year’s National Youth Jazz Competition showcased the best of youth jazz in the country.

“The standard of performances is incredibly high, with jazz becoming a popular part of the New Zealand school music curriculum,” says Liam. “The students blew us away again this year with their musicality, their enthusiasm, and their energy.

“It’s great to see the students performing in a limousine theatre like Baycourt’s Addison Theatre – they get the full experience of performing on a big stage to a large appreciative audience. We love that Tauranga comes out and supports them too.

“A big thank you must go to the school musical directors, young performers who played their hearts out, parents, and support teams who come along and make it happen.

“We are very grateful to our sponsors for their support in hosting this event. It has been a wonderful two days of youth jazz and it feels more like we are developing a national music community than a competition,” says Liam.


2021 National Youth Jazz Competition Trophies

Winners Names


Pukekohe High School


Avondale Quartet – Avondale College

GEORGE RAWIRI TROPHY for the Most Outstanding Young Musician

Louis Holland - Wellington

BEST OF FESTIVAL TROPHY- Most Outstanding Jazz Band

Crumbly Jack & Mel Stevenson - Wellington

SOUNZ TROPHY – Best performance of a NZ composition

Auckland Grammar – “Senegal Champions of Africa” by the Black Seeds

RODGER FOX TROPHY - Most Outstanding Trombonist

Louis Holland - Wellington

DAVE FEEHAN TROPHY - Most Outstanding Vocalist

Eden Brown – Wellington

EDWINA THORNE TROPHY - Most Outstanding Trumpet or Flugel

Miro Holland – Wellington

TOM BAYLISS TROPHY - Most Outstanding Clarinetist

Chester Bodman – Scots College

MAYERS MUSIC CENTRE TROPHY - Most Outstanding Guitarist

Michael van Lieshout – Tauranga Boys’ College

BAY CITY MUSIC TROPHY - Most Outstanding Keyboard Player

Nico Buhne – Wellington

P&S PENMAN TROPHY - Most Outstanding Bassist

Tyler Diprose – Avondale Quartet – Avondale College

HILL/WILCOCK TROPHY - Most Outstanding Drummer

Ranu Ediriweera Wijesuriya – Auckland Grammar

BILL HOFFMEISTER TROPHY - Most Outstanding Pianist

Lucas Kewell – Avondale Quartet – Avondale College

ERROL CHRISTIANSEN TROPHY - Most Outstanding Flautist

Luke Sutton – Scots College

YANAGISAWA TROPHY – Most Outstanding Saxophonist

Alex Vujanic – Pukekohe High School

BAKER/ALLEN TROPHY - Best Arrangement

Crumbly Jack – Wellington

KEN MITCHELL TROPHY - Best Original Composition

“Phase Out Nitrogen Fertiliser” by Mel Stevenson – Wellington

DENNIS HUGGARD TROPHY - Best First Year Performance Band

The Fantails – Sancta Maria College

DEREK JACOMBS TROPHY - Award for Innovation

James Dawes – Articul8 – Kings College

LAUREN ELLIS TROPHY – Best Big Band Drummer

Devin O’Callaghan – Pukekohe High School

L & M Mason Trophy – Best Musicianship Combo

 Tauranga Boys Combo One





Wellington College and Wellington Girls College


St Cuthbert’s College Stage Band


Tauranga Boys and Tauranga Girls College Big Band One


Lynfield College Big Band


Trident High Big Band


Pukekohe High School Stage Band


Avondale College Big Band


Scots College Jazz Band


Saint Kentigern Big Band


Auckland Grammar Big Band




Aquinas College


Avondale College Stage Band


Bethlehem College Big Band


The ACG Strathallan Stocktakers


Rongotai College Big Band


Tauranga Boys and Tauranga Girls College Big Band Two


Clyde St Jazz Band – Diocesan School






Blue Note – Avondale College


Articul8 – Kings College


Saint Kentigern Jazz Combo – Saint Kentigern College


The Fantails – Sancta Maria College


Crumbly Jack – Wellington High School


The Keas – Sancta Maria College


Mel Stevenson – Wellington High School


Avondale Quartet – Avondale College


Club 347 – St Andrew’s College Christchurch


PHS Quintet – Pukekohe High School


Auckland Grammar Combo – Auckland Grammar


Tauranga Boys College Combo One






Tauranga Boys College Combo Two


Jazz Tortoises – Scots College


Kristin Jazz Combo – Kristin School


Otumoetai College Combo


Minho and the Drongos – ACG Strathallan


Five Spot – Avondale College


Green Note – Green Bay High School


Robs Dogs – Avondale College


Kikorangi – Kuranui College


Rongotai College Senior Combo


Lynfield College Jazz Combo


Orewa Jazz Combo


Route 65 – Sacred Heart Lower Hutt


52nd Street – Avondale College


Whangaparaoa Senior Jazz Combo


Milestones – St Cuthberts College



The 43rd National Youth Jazz Competition is sponsored by Tauranga City Council, TECT, New Zealand School of Music: Victoria University of Wellington, SAE Institute, Music Planet, Creative Communities Tauranga, Dr Toot.

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