Class Got Brass
presented by the gia maione prima foundation

 March 23, 2024

Class Got Brass presented by the Gia Maione Prima Foundation is a program of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation to support music education in the schools while promoting the traditional brass band music of New Orleans. It is open to middle schools and high schools in Louisiana.  

The Jazz & Heritage Foundation started the Class Got Brass contest in 2012 to provide additional funding for music education in middle schools and high schools and to promote New Orleans’ cultural traditions, including the famous second line and brass bands.

Competing bands are limited to 12 members and can only feature one bass drum, one snare drum, one tuba and instruments that are recognized as part of the brass band tradition. Schools are encouraged to augment their bands with “steppers,” or dancers. Winning teams receive prizes in the form of a grant check that may be redeemed for instruments, instrument repair, sheet music or other supplies or services to support the needs of schools’ music program.

There are two categories — advanced and beginner — and more than $50,000 in gift certificates for instruments, clinicians, repairs and supplies get awarded to winners and participants.

VIDEO: See the mini-documentary about the Class Got Brass program produced by Jazz Fest presenting sponsor, Shell


Our partners at the Preservation Hall Foundation are providing additional resources to help band directors prepare their students for the competition. 

There is a resource-rich web site with instructional materials covering six songs in the traditional brass band repertoire. 

For each song, there is sheet music to download, with arrangements for all brass band instruments: trumpet, trombone, clarinet, saxophone, tuba, bass drum and snare drum. There are also classic recordings demonstrating the proper tone and style. 

Thank you to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation for supporting music in our school system and giving students an opportunity to explore their inner beauty through music

Lester Singleton, Band Director, St. Katherine Drexel Prep School