The Temple High School jazz ensemble, the Temple Highlighters, has been awarded national honors by The Foundation for Music Education.
The Temple Highlighters were selected as a National Winner in the Mark of Excellence/National Jazz Honors Project.
The Highlighters, under the direction of Marcos Duran, are one of three high school jazz ensembles from across the country to receive National Winner honors. There were a total of 301 entries from across the country throughout the different categories in The Foundation for Music Education’s Mark of Excellence Project.
Ensembles submitted recordings of their entries, adding one more challenge in an already difficult year.
“It was a very welcome surprise to be honest with you because of everything we went through last year,” said Duran. “The kids kept showing up and doing what they needed to so we could keep playing. We had some really special moments in our ensemble and winning this honor made all of the hard work and effort worthwhile, especially for the kids who did so much. We were making music for the sake of making music and winning a contest was just a by-product of us doing that and our kids really investing in that process.”
Temple High School has the oldest jazz band program in the state of Texas – dating back to the 1950’s.