FDL Student Wins Fox Valley Jazz Competition

Fond du Lac High School senior Ben Stoffel-Murray has taken first place in the 2017 Fox Jazz Festival High School Jazz Improvisation Contest.

Stoffel-Murray, the son of Sharon Stoffel and Bill Murray of Fond du Lac, plays alto saxophone in Fondy High’s Jazz I, Symphonic Winds and Percussion and show bands.

Fond du Lac High School band director Matt McVeigh said Stoffel-Murray sets high standards for himself.

“As his director, I cannot speak more highly of the leadership Ben brings to our jazz program,” McVeigh said. “He routinely schedules and leads sections. Ben is adept at making thoughtful decisions on jazz style and articulation which impact the section.”

Stoffel-Murray, along with trumpeter Daniel Bomier from Xavier High School who placed second, will perform at the Fox Jazz Festival Sept. 2 at Jefferson Park in Menasha. The concert is free.

Students enter the contest by submitting recordings of themselves playing several jazz styles. Judges select two students to perform a live audition with the Big Band Reunion at Frank’s Pizza Palace where first and second places are awarded.

For his first place finish, Stoffel-Murray and Fond du Lac High School receive gift certificates to Heid Music.

The annual contest is sponsored by Heid Music and administered by Fox Jazz Fest Education Director Mike Malone.

For a full line-up of performers or more information about Fox Jazz Festival visit foxjazzfest.com.