Youth jazz & funk band headlines Summer’s End concert, Aug. 31

RI Philharmonic Music School’s youth jazz & funk band
wins top honor at an American Idol-inspired competition
 to become opening act for East Greenwich’s Summer’s End concert

TAKEMOTO JAZZThe RI Philharmonic Music School’s youth jazz and funk band wins the 2018 Race to the Stage. From left to right, they are: Greg Takemoto, band coach, Jarret Allen, (Lincoln), Medeski Dow, (Pawtucket), Max Riley, (Coventry), Emmanuel Despines, (Barrington), and Tor Kenyon, (Barrington). Missing from the photograph is band member Richard Evangelista (Providence).

Music School Jazz Band Performing 

The RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School’s Paul Murphy Ensemble of high school jazz and funk musicians won first prize in a competition modeled after the popular TV show American Idol. The winners of the annual Race to the Stage competition determine the opening acts for the annual free Summer’s End concert on Friday, Aug. 31 (rain date Sept. 1) at East Greenwich’s Eldredge Field. The gates open at 4; music starts at 5:30.

This year’s Race to the Stage included 12 musical acts who competed at the Greenwich Odeum this past April. The evening culminated with the RI Philharmonic Music School’s Jazz Band, who performed as the Tor Guides, taking the top prize. The other three winning musical acts who will also perform at the Summer’s End concert are the Visiting Wine, a Boston-based duo; singer-songwriter Allison Giuliano, of Providence, and singer Jesse Tolppa, of East Greenwich.

The RI Philharmonic Music School’s Jazz Band was chosen from a field of 32 aspiring performers who sent in online video submission. A committee reviewed the submissions and narrowed the field to 12 acts, who competed during Race to the Stage. The four judges for Race to the Stage included Megan Catelli, cellist and music teacher at Cole Middle School (East Greenwich); Katie Kleyla, vocalist with the New Providence Big Band; Bill McGrath, promotor of a music series; and vocalist-musician-songwriter Dana Wronski. Sal Sauco was the show’s emcee. Special thanks to the Greenwich Odeum and Stephen Caraccia of Main Street Music, for their key role in this event.

The Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School encourages lifelong engagement with music through comprehensive music education and community partnership programs taught by Orchestra members and outstanding faculty. Quality, access, diversity and collaboration are the Music School’s core values. If you have any questions, call 401.248.7001 or email