Dakota Combo Wins Mingus Spirit Award
Competing in the “special school” division of the third annual Charles Mingus High School Band Competition, the Dakota Combo was awarded the Mingus Spirit Award on Feb. 20 at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. The Combo performed three Mingus compositions (“So Long Eric,” “Orange Was the Color of Her Dress,” and “Reincarnation of a Love Bird”) arranged by director Adam Linz and based on his transcriptions of the original Mingus arrangements. The arrangements and the Combo’s distinctive style was judged to best reflect the spirit of Charles Mingus among all competitors.
Six combos and six big bands were selected for the competition from a national field of applicants to participate in a day of rehearsal and clinics, followed by a day of performance before panels of distinguished judges. Special concerts during the weekend included the Mingus Orchestra conducted by Gunther Schuller at St. Bartholomew’s Church and brief sets from the Manhattan School of Music combo and the Mingus Dynasty (septet).