Congressman Alcee L. Hastings made the following statement on the House floor on May 23, 2011, congratulating the Dillard High School Jazz Ensemble for Winning the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition:

M. Speaker, I rise today to honor the Jazz Ensemble of Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida for their continued achievements and excellence.

Dillard High School was founded in the early twentieth century with funds from noted philanthropist James Hardy Dillard. The music program at Dillard High School gained fame when the legendary Julian "Cannonball" Adderley served as an instructor of applied music in the 1940's. Dillard High School serves as a Performing Arts and Technology magnet school in Fort Lauderdale, Florida with its main areas of focus being dance, voice, orchestra, and band.

There are no limits to the creative spirit at Dillard High School and there are no limits to the success that their students achieve. Earlier this month, the Dillard High School Jazz Ensemble took home first prize honors at the "Essentially Ellington" Jazz Band Competition at Lincoln Center in New York City. More impressive than their performance is the resolve that the students showed in fundraising for their trips. Many students used their own money to pay for their trips as private donations are scarce.

In addition to this most recent achievement, the Jazz Ensemble took first prize at the "Swing Central" Jazz competition in Savannah, Georgia in both 2011 and 2010 and in 2010 they took second place at the "Essentially Ellington" Jazz Band Competition before winning the prestigious competition this year.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud that these young musicians represent my district. It is a true privilege to recognize the Dillard High School Jazz Ensemble and their many accomplishments, both on and off the stage.

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