Monday, March 30, 2009


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March 30, 2009

PENSACOLA- The University of West Florida Department of Music will showcase student musicians from across the United States at the Fifth Annual Kathleen T. and Philip B. Phillips, M.D. Jazz Piano Competition. The competition takes place April 3 at 7:30 p.m. at the recently renovated Saenger Theatre in downtown Pensacola. The performance is the final round of the competition, with finalists competing for cash prizes totaling $10,000. Each finalist will play three contrasting pieces with or without a jazz combo, including one original arrangement or composition for a maximum of 20 minutes performance time. The event is free and open to the public.

The five finalists are Sean Dietrich from Northwest Florida State College, Jiri Levicek from the University of North Texas, Ross Margitza from Michigan State University, Peter Stoltzman from the University of Texas-Austin and Roberto Verastegui from the University of North Texas. The alternate is Glen Pursello-Seefeld from Michigan State University. The finalists were selected based on technical ability, improvisatory skills and musicality.

Prizes to be awarded include: First place: $5,000; Second place: $3,000; Third place: $1,500; and two Honorable Mentions at $250 each. The winner will also be featured at Pensacola’s annual JazzFest on Saturday, April 4, 2009. This year’s judges are professional jazz pianists Chuchito Valdes, Cuba; John Royen, New Orleans; and last year’s winner Donald Vega, New York.

This annual event, made possible by the generosity of the Phillips family, is part of the University of West Florida’s Festival on the Green, a two-day, entertaining outdoor event. This year’s Festival on the Green is scheduled for April 3 and 4 and will welcome the Northwest Florida and South Alabama communities to the UWF Main Campus in Pensacola. Previous year’s festivals have attracted more than 25,000 attendees.

For more information, contact the UWF Department of Music at (850) 474-2147 or visit

For more information on Festival on the Green, visit

Distribution of Press Release By:
Jazz Blues Florida

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