SANTA MONICA, Calif. (Dec. 14, 2012) — The GRAMMY Foundation® ( announced today that 32 talented high school students from across the United States have been selected for positions in the 2013 GRAMMY Camp® — Jazz Session (formerly known as GRAMMY® Jazz Ensembles). Their selection launches them into the spotlight surrounding the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards®, and provides them with unparalleled opportunities to perform in front of some of music's biggest names. The students, representing 31 cities and 15 states, will travel to Los Angeles for a weeklong musical adventure under the direction of Justin DiCioccio of the Manhattan School of Music, Dr. Ron McCurdy of the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music and Dr. Leila Heil of the University of Colorado, Boulder. This year, two members will comprise the GRAMMY in the Schools Media Team, and they will document the GRAMMY Week experience for a range of the GRAMMY Foundation's social media platforms. Many past members of the GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session program go on to enjoy thriving performance careers, including singer/pianist Peter Cincotti (2001), two-time GRAMMY-nominated jazz pianist Gerald Clayton (2002), New York Philharmonic bassist David Grossman (1995), GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Brandon Heath (1994), saxophonist Grace Kelly (2008), and pianist Aaron Parks (2000).

"Since 1993, GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session has provided students with an extraordinary musical experience that brings to life the mission of the GRAMMY Foundation: to foster the next generation of music and its makers," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the GRAMMY Foundation and The Recording Academy®. "While they're here, these young artists will experience a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity when they play with their peers as well as with GRAMMY-nominated and GRAMMY-winning artists at a range of programs during GRAMMY Week."

The selected students will perform at various GRAMMY Week events including — for the fourth year— an appearance at GRAMMY In The Schools® Live! — A Celebration Of Music & Education, sponsored by Ford Motor Company Fund and the Starkey Hearing Foundation. This special evening, which is open to the public, will showcase the selectees, along with student alumni from GRAMMY Camp and GRAMMY Signature Schools, with special guest artists on Feb. 6, 2013, at USC. The group will offer another public performance at Spaghettini Fine Dining & Entertainment with a special guest artist on Feb. 7. GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session members will also will attend the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 10 as guests of The Recording Academy and will perform at the GRAMMY Celebration® after-party.

On Feb. 8–9, the young musicians will again record at the legendary Capitol Studios & Mastering in Hollywood, Calif., courtesy of the EMI Music Group. GRAMMY Jazz Ensembles albums from 2007–2012 are available for purchase at online music outlets such as Amazon, iTunes, Napster, and Rhapsody.

The GRAMMY Camp — Jazz Session selectees are eligible for more than $2 million in college scholarships made possible through the GRAMMY Foundation's college partners: Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, and USC Thornton School of Music. In addition, each selectee's school will receive a professional cymbal courtesy of the Zildjian Company.

The 2013 GRAMMY Camp – Jazz Session members are listed by each student's instrument, role, or voice:

Name City State School Part
Kat Gratso Brookly N.Y. Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art Soprano
Elena Pinderhughes Berkeley Calif. Berkeley High School Soprano
Chloe Brisson Hanover N.H. Hanover High School Alto
Ashley Pezzotti Plantation Fla.  Miami Arts Charter School  Alto
Nathan Heldman Los Angeles Calif. Academy of Music at Hamilton High School Tenor
Elliott Skinner Plano Texas Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Bass
Chris Burrus Nashville Tenn. Montgomery Bell Academy Bass
Mark Mekailian Arcadia Calif. Los Angeles County High School for the Arts Bass
James Francies Houston Texas High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Piano
Andrew Sommer Marietta Ga. Indiana University High School Bass
Simone Boszormenyi San Jose Calif. Bentley School Guitar
Adrian Cota West Covina Calif. Los Angeles County High School for the Arts


Sam Hart New City N.Y. Clarkstown High School South Alto Sax 1
Lenard Simpson Milwaukee Wis. Wauwatosa East High School Alto Sax 2
Matthew Babineaux Mesquite Texas Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

Tenor Sax

Julian Lee Montclair N.J. Montclair High School Tenor Sax
Henry Solomon Woodside Calif. Interlochen Arts Academy Bari Sax  
Michael Raehpour Witchita Kan. Andover High School

Trumpet Lead

Nathan Sparks Prairie City Iowa Southeast Polk Senior High School Trumpet 2
Fernando Ferrarone Miami Fla. Felix Varela Senior High School Trumpet 3
Aidan Lombard Kenilworth Ill. New Trier Township High School Trumpet Jazz
Max Boiko Sunrise Fla. Dillard High School Trumpet 5
Johnathan Black Tucson Ariz. Tucson High Magnet School

Trombone 1

Coleman Hughes Montclair N.J. Newark Academy Trombone 2
Blake Manternach Coralville Iowa West High School Trombone 3
Peter Wikle Santa Ana Calif. Orange County School of the Arts Bass Trombone
Matthew Malanowski Farmingdale N.Y. Farmingdale High School Piano
Bob Bruya Ellensburg Wash. Ellensburg High School Bass
Francis Salerno De Pere Wis. De Pere High School Guitar
Fredric Griggs Carlisle Pa. Carlisle High School Drums
Media Team
Cameron Capers Stone Mountain Ga. DeKalb School of the Arts
Allison Spice Trabuco Canyon Calif. Mission Viejo High Schoo

The GRAMMY Foundation was established in 1989 to cultivate the understanding, appreciation and advancement of the contribution of recorded music to American culture — from the artistic and technical legends of the past to the still unimagined musical breakthroughs of future generations of music professionals. The Foundation accomplishes this mission through programs and activities that engage the music industry and cultural community as well as the general public. The Foundation works in partnership year-round with its founder, The Recording Academy®, to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich cultural heritage. Campbell's Labels for Education program is proud to be the official education partner of the GRAMMY in the Schools programs. For more information, please visit For breaking news and exclusive content, please like "GRAMMY in the Schools" on Facebook at and follow @GRAMMYFdn on Twitter at

Media Contacts:
Christina Cassidy/GRAMMY Foundation/310.392.3777/
Hannah Berryman/GRAMMY Foundation/310.392.3777/
Michael Collard/Rogers & Cowan/310.854.8169/
Heather Lewandoski/Rogers & Cowan/310.854.8147/