Student musicians jazz it up at Maine festival (Portland Press Herald)

SOUTH PORTLAND — With the seconds ticking away until the Ellsworth High School Jazz Ensemble took the stage at the Maine State Instrumental Jazz Festival on Saturday, drummer Cameron Petros strolled around the practice room playing some imaginary riff in the air with his sticks.

Showing off his callus-covered hands, roughened by hours of practice leading up to the competition, the 16-year-old sophomore said he wasn’t nervous even though his several-minute solo was the group’s finale.

“I am used to performing,” said Petros, who started playing drums at age 6.

Petros and his 15 fellow jazz ensemble members were performing on the second and final day of the festival at South Portland High School, where more than 80 students and members of the South Portland Music Boosters kept the players fed and organized.

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