|Mark poses with the Honoka'a Jazz Band in front of Iolani Palace.|
The Honokaa High School Jazz Band, long a source of Hamakua civic pride, will soon have another award in its trophy case -- the 2011 Grammy Signature Schools Enterprise Award. The Grammy Signature Schools program exemplifies the Grammy Foundation's commitment to fostering excellence in music education in public high schools.
Gary Washburn, Honokaa High music teacher and bandleader, called the award "the biggest recognition that we've attracted." That's saying a lot. Last year, the school's music program was recognized by the National Association of Music Merchants and the jazz band was featured on National Public Radio's "From the Top" program. And this year, Washburn received the Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction Award from the National Society of High School Scholars Jazz.