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SWT music student chosen for Down Beat award

Date of release: 06/18/98

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Pat Murray of San Antonio (78240) , a trumpeter and music student at Southwest Texas State University, received one of Down Beat magazine’s 1998 student Down Beat awards. The music magazine annually selects the best student jazz musicians in the country (by taped audition) and honors these winners with a certificate and their name in the May issue. This is not the first time an SWT student has received one of these prestigious awards.

“I have been submitting tapes of students for a few years now, and I’m proud to announce that this is the fifth year that an SWT student has won one of these awards and the fourth year in a row,” said Keith Winking, director of the SWT jazz program.

As in years past, the award winners this year are from some of the most prestigious music schools in the country, including the University of Miami, Berklee School of Music and Eastman, to name a few.

“This award for a jazz student is the equivalent of an athlete being selected by Sports Illustrated as one of the outstanding collegiate athletes,” Winking added. Murray will join the rest of the members of the SWT Jazz Ensemble for July performances at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, and the North Sea Jazz Festival in Holland. “Both of these festivals are considered the best in the world, so we are honored to have been selected to perform,” Winking explained. “I submitted tapes of the SWT Jazz Ensemble to both festivals last fall, and we were one of a select group of collegiate groups invited to perform.”

These are just the latest honors for students in the SWT jazz program. Saxophonist Elias Haslanger was recently profiled in a cover story in the Austin Chronicle. His recently released CD, Kicks Are for Kids (Heart Music Records), features pianist and fellow classmate Fred Sanders and pianist Ellis Marsalis, a world renowned pianist and the father of Wynton and Branford Marsalis. Haslanger, who completed his master’s degree in composition at SWT this spring, won a solo Down Beat magazine award last year and was a member of 1996 awarding winning jazz combo, along with Sanders. Sanders’ recently released CD, East of Vilbig (Leaning House Records), made it to the Billboard jazz charts and features Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Roy Hargrove and guitarist Mark Whitfield. He also received a Down Beat award while in high school for his cello playing.