"Whoever Said You Gotta Be In It to Win It?"


“Whoever said you gotta be in it to win it should talk to…”

Well, yeah.  In 1985, the Harrison Jazz Ensemble went to Canada, as the article says.  But what’s not there is the sequel.  We went back and became the first American Jazz Band to ever win the Canadian Stage Band Festival. (There were 199 bands!)

One must smile.  My philosophy about “trophies” then was the same as it is now.  So let’s look at the trophies, the newest being that one in the center, The Hollywood Music in Media Award for Best Epic/Orchestral Music.


Every one of those awards, AND the ones not in the photo, like the Pulitzer Nominations for “Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE” and “Symphony IIII: Lightfall”, the 4 Golden Global Music Awards for “Love Conquers All”, and “The Grey II-III”, ALL have something in common!

“I” never entered any of them into the “contest”.

It was Maestro Gerhardt Zimmermann and The Canton Symphony who nominated “Symphony IIII: Lightfall” for the Pulitzer and Nemmers.

It was Chelle Campbell who nominated “Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE”.  It was also Chelle who sent the DVD version of “Kakehashi: THAT WE MIGHT LIVE” to the Telly Awards.  It won 3 Tellys for Music, History, and Biography.  It also won an AVA Award.

It was Christopher Kulikowski and Steffon Olsen who entered my Score for “Reckoning of Darkness” which won a Scorpius Award for Best Music.  It won again at another film festival.

The Hollywood Music in Media Award, that newest one, made of crystal, in the center, the one that catches the light and makes Rainbows?  That was all Cindy Paulos.  In fact, I actually debated with her as to why she would even consider sending “Love Conquers All” to the Awards.

But Cindy was right.  Just as she was with the Gold Global Music Awards.  So THANK YOU, Cindy Paulos.  You have been amazingly Kind and considerate and generous.  I’ll give these awards to my kids one day and they can thank you for them.

Look, I’m human.  Just like everyone else, I enjoy being recognized.   It’s all cool.  But, I’m often too busy to think about contests.  Fortunately, the super Kind people mentioned above believed in the Music enough to go to bat on its behalf.

And THAT is the Real trophy for me… the Kindness represented in the Generosity of others.  I am honored and humbled and grateful.

Thank you, Gerhardt.  Thank you Canton Symphony.  Thank you, Chelle.  Thank you, Christopher and Steffon.  Thank you, Cindy.

Love & Godspeed!  S

#music #musiceducation #awards #HMMA #scorpius #telly #ava #pulitzer #nemmers #stephenmelillo #stormworks

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