Congratulations to MDI High School Senior Thistle Swann who was notified on Monday, November 14th that she is a finalist and will be performing at the Berklee Jazz Festival Showcase on February 11th, 2016.

I spoke to Thistle via email about entering the competition and this is what she had to say.

"I first found out about the competition last year, and I traveled down to Berkelee with our jazz groups to see them perform and support them, but also because I wanted to see what the competition was like in case I wanted to apply next year. The way the competition works is you record two jazz songs of your choosing, I chose Misty and Tangerine, and then you record yourself singing them.

I had a lot of help with the audition recordings from Jeff Zaman and Jacob Sanner. They were instrumental in making sure that the videos were high quality and had good audio, to which I am eternally grateful. Then you upload the videos on You Tube and send the links to the adjudicators and wait.

I wasn't sure when they were going to tell me whether or not I had succeeded, but I found out about two minutes before school ended yesterday and was just so amazed because I really was not expecting to be chosen as one of the top ten out of everyone who applied in the entire USA. It was really a huge shock.

Now the next step will be to go down to Berkeley on February 11th and compete and see how I do! I honestly feel like I've won already because its such an honor to be chosen to be in the top ten."