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Two MHSA students earn high marks in national music competition

DownBeat WinnersTwo members of the acclaimed Milwaukee High School of the Arts Vocal Jazz Ensemble are awardees in DownBeat Magazine’s 40th national Student Music Award (SMA) competition. Charisma Carson was named Winner in the category of Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist – Performing Arts High Schools. Kaprice Maxwell was recognized for Outstanding Performance in the category Vocal Jazz Soloist – Performing Arts High Schools. Both girls are seniors at MHSA.

These awards mark the fourth time in the past four years that the MHSA Vocal Jazz Ensemble has been recognized at this prestigious competition. “It is so thrilling to see our Milwaukee Public Schools student names listed along with the best and brightest young musicians on the planet,” said Raymond Roberts, vocal music director at MHSA. “Keep your eye on these two brilliant young singers. You will hear much more from them in the future!”

The DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards program is considered to be among the top student music competitions in the world. The program offers categories of competition for junior high, high school and university music students and bands. The judges, comprised of professional musicians and educators, assess entrants based on criteria such as musicianship, creativity, improvisation, technique, sound quality, and excitement.

Milwaukee High School of the Arts offers a wide range of arts opportunities. Students may select an arts-focused major (creative writing, dance, music, theater or visual arts) and receive at least two class hours of instruction per day focused on that major. Students commit to one area of the arts for all four years in school. MHSA also provides an academically challenging educational program that includes Advanced Placement and honors courses.

Strong academic and arts programs are part of the Milwaukee Public Schools Eight Big Ideas strategy that includes objectives such as Educate the Whole Child, Rethink High Schools and Redefine the MPS Experience. This strategy is working to increase student achievement and success.

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Milwaukee Public Schools is committed to accelerating student achievement, building positive relationships between youth and adults and cultivating leadership at all levels. The district’s commitment to improvement continues to show results:

  • More MPS students are taking college-level Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate courses;
  • The MPS Class of 2016 earned $51+ million in scholarships; and
  • MPS is home to seven of the state and nation’s top high schools according to U.S. News and World Report and the Washington Post.

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