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The Santa Maria High School Jazz Ensemble jammed their way to the top.

The group of 17 musicians recently earned first place honors within the high school division at the 46th Annual Dos Pueblos Jazz Festival in Goleta. The group’s guitar player, Zachary Blanchard, also won Best Guitar Soloist.

They played selections including “Room 806 by Gregory Yasinitsky”, “Double Play by Carl Strommer”, “Once In Love by Jeff Davis”, and “Back And Forth by John Phelps”.

“It is so wonderful to be a young passionate musician being recognized for our hard work,’’ said senior trombone player Stephanie Fernandez, who has been accepted to CSU Northridge to be a Music Education Major.

Director of Bands Ulises Valdivia said the group is “dedicated and amazingly talented”.

“Jazz Education is a wonderful American Art form, because it helps students to have an open mind to change, communicate and experience themselves,’’ Valdivia said. “If you haven’t had the chance to listen to them, come by our Spring Concert which will be on Friday, May 1 at 6:30 p.m. inside the Ethel Pope Auditorium.’’

NONDISCRIMINATION POLICY: The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District is committed to ensuring equal, fair, and meaningful access to employment and education services. The SMJUHSD does not discriminate in any employment practice, education program, or educational activity on the basis and/or association with a person or group with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics of age, ancestry, color, disability, ethnicity, ethnic group identifications, gender, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital, family or parental status, medical condition, military or veteran status, nationality, national origin, immigration status, political affiliation, pregnancy and related conditions, race, religion, retaliation, sex (including sexual harassment), sexual orientation, or any other basis prohibited by California state and federal nondiscrimination laws respectively. Not all bases of discrimination will apply to both education services and employment. If you believe you have been subjected to discrimination, harassment, intimidation, or bullying, immediately contact the District’s Discrimination, Equity and Title IX Compliance Officer Mr. Kevin R. Platt at 2560 Skyway Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93455, (805) 922-4573 or You may request a copy of SMJUHSD’s Uniform Complaint Procedures, Non-Discrimination Policies, Sexual Harassment Policies or click here.