Herb Pomeroy Contest Past Winners

Below is a list of past winners of the Herb Pomeroy Jazz Composition/Arranging Contest, along with videos of the winners' winning compositions and arrangements, which are performed by Berklee ensembles at the Berklee High School Jazz Festivals each year. 

To read more about the winners, visit Herb Pomeroy Contest Results on the Berklee High School Jazz Festival webpage.

2017—Ethan Moffitt

The Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra performs "Humpty Dumpty" as arranged by Ethan Moffitt, winner of the Herb Pomeroy Contest, at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival 2017:

"My experiences through winning the Herb Pomeroy Composition and Arranging Competition were invaluable and irreplaceable. The award gave me the drive and encouragement to continue to do what I love most, and that's making music." —Ethan Moffitt

Bassist Ethan Moffitt is 16 and lives in Glendale, California. He has been recognized with multiple honors for his performances, compositions, and arrangements. He was the recipient of a Merit Award on jazz bass in the 2017 National YoungArts Competition and won first prize in the 2017 Essentially Ellington J. Douglas White Composition and Arrangement Contest for his big band arrangement of Chick Corea's "Humpty Dumpty"; his arrangement was recorded by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Moffitt created the work this year under the guidance of the Colburn Jazz Workshop's big band director, Lee Secard, and assistant director, Walter Simonsen. The Colburn Jazz Workshop's Big Band premiered the work at their 2016 winter concert. Moffitt was the recipient of the competition's third prize in 2016 for his original big band composition "Cross Streets," which was also a winner in the high school division of the sixth annual Ithaca College Jazz Ensemble Composition Competition. In addition, Moffitt has received include three awards in the 2015 and 2016 DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards, which are considered among the most prestigious honors in jazz education, and was a member of the Colburn Jazz Workshop's 2015, 2016, and 2017 big bands, which were all finalists in the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festivals. His composition, "Ode Für Streich Orchester," was premiered by the Colburn Chamber Orchestra in May 2016 and was performed by the Colburn Youth Orchestra on their inaugural European tour in the summer of 2016, performing in Prague, Czech Republic; Salzburg, Austria; and Munich, Germany.

2016—James Brandfonbrener

The Berklee Concert Jazz Orchestra performs "Waltz for Last Summer" by James Brandfonbrener, winner of the Herb Pomeroy Contest, at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival 2016:

2015—Matt Wong

Listen to Matt Wong's "Against the Current," the Herb Pomeroy Contest–winning composition for 2015, performed by the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.

"Winning the Herb Pomeroy Award and getting to attend the Berklee High School Jazz Festival was a really unique experience for me. It was great to be able to interact with all the other students participating as well as all the members of the Rainbow Band and Tia Fuller. She was incredibly gracious, and the band sounded great, so it was a pleasure to get to hear my music performed in that context. The energy of all the students and music that was happening was really special, and I feel very fortunate that I was able to be a part of it."—Matt Wong

Matt Wong is a pianist, composer, and arranger. He developed an appreciation for jazz and blues at an early age and began playing piano at age 6. Born and raised in San Francisco, California, he was fortunate to grow up in an environment that supports jazz and fosters musical collaboration and experimentation. He currently attends a music conservatory in New York City. Wong composes and arranges for big band and orchestra, as well as for smaller ensembles. His big compositions have been performed by groups including the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Realistic Orchestra, Musical Art Quintet, Berklee College of Music Rainbow Band, and the Next Generation Jazz Orchestra.

2014—Matt Wong

The Berklee Rainbow Big Band performs "Prima Luce" by Matt Wong, winner of the Herb Pomeroy Contest, at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival 2014:

2013—Aditya Raguram

The Berklee Rainbow Big Band performs "Remember" by Aditya Raguram, winner of the Herb Pomeroy Contest, at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival 2013:

"As a member of the Princeton Studio Band, I attended the Berklee High School Jazz Festival from 2011 to 2014, and always enjoyed the unique opportunity to hear performances by top bands from across the nation. The experience of being on stage to hear my original composition 'Remember' performed by the Rainbow Band under the direction of Phil Wilson was one that I'll never forget." —Aditya Raguram

Aditya Raguram is a rising senior at Harvard University studying chemistry and physics. While at Harvard, he continues to pursue music composition and piano performance. He has studied with Vijay Iyer and has performed with Yosvany Terry, Harold Mabern, George Coleman, Don Braden, and Wallace Roney, in addition to performing with various other student ensembles. His compositions synthesize influences from Western and South Indian classical music, jazz, and contemporary creative music. 


2012—Frank Rein

The Berklee Rainbow Big Band performs "I Think I'll Miss You Most of All" by Frank Rein, winner of the Herb Pomeroy Contest, at the Berklee High School Jazz Festival 2012:

"The Herb Pomeroy Award was a boon to my early composing career. The piece I composed for the contest, 'I Think I'll Miss You Most of All,' was the result of more than a year of self-motivated work. It was the first time that my creativity didn't originate in the context of an assignment from my teachers, and as a result, I felt more attached to that piece than to any previous composition or performance. To win the contest was not only a thrill in that moment, but also a continuing source of positive reinforcement and encouragement to express myself creatively." —Frank Rein

Since his winning of the Herb Pomeroy Competition in 2012, Frank Rein has attended the University of the Arts in Philadelphia, where he received a Bachelor of Music with honors in 2016. He studied bass trombone with Barry McCommon, a top-call classical and jazz crossover artist in the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York area. Nowadays, Rein has the opportunity to perform with accomplished musicians in Philadelphia in genres as diverse as jazz, pop-rock, R&B, funk, classical, gospel, reggae, klezmer, soul, punk, and even Star Wars music. This year he performed on the album Strength of a Woman by Mary J. Blige, and he continues to produce new music with different collaborators in his studio in Philadelphia.