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Springvale students took home first prize from a national jazz competition.

The stage band from Killester College started rehearsing for the weekend-long Generations in Jazz stage band competition last November.

Jazz trumpeter James Morrison has been running the event for 30 years and this year took it to Mt Gambier, South Australia.

The Killester band conductor, teacher Bernie Hickey, said he’d taken a band to the competition 25 years ago and 300 students took part. That number is now more than 5000.

This was the first time Killester had entered such a competition, and the school placed first in its division.

Principal Leanne Di Stefano attended the weekend.

“The girls are really starting to realise how big the world of music is and how much fun it is to participate at such a high level,” she said.

“We are all very proud of their efforts.”

Grammy Award-winner Patti Austin sang with an all-star stage band on Friday night.

The event introduced students from all over Australia to musicians such as Shannon Barnett, a female trombone player who now lives and performs in Germany, and Matt Jodrell, who lectures at the Julliard School of Music in New York.

The Saturday night concert was a celebration for all students at the competition and featured a performance from The Cat Empire.

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