Contest-Winning Jazz Composition to be Performed by Renowned Saxophonist

By Alex Butler '22, November 27, 2019
Braxton Cook and the IC Jazz Ensemble will perform David P. ’60 and Susan W. Wohlhueter Jazz Composition Contest winner Mike Caudill’s composition.

The winner of the 2019 David P. ’60 and Susan W. Wohlhueter Jazz Composition Contest is Mike Caudill of Brighton, Massachusetts. Caudill’s winning composition, “The Familiar Connection,” will be performed at Ithaca College by the IC Jazz Ensemble, accompanied by world-renowned saxophonist Braxton Cook, on December 7, at 8:15 p.m. in Ford Hall. The concert is free and open to the public.

Caudill was awarded $1,000 and will receive a recording of Cook and the jazz ensemble performing his piece. A saxophonist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Cook emerged on the jazz scene with his 2017 album, “Somewhere in Between.” The Juilliard School-trained musician cites John Coltrane, Charlie Parker, D’Angelo and Frank Ocean as his influences. His latest album is “No Doubt.”

The jazz composition contest was established through the generosity of Ithacan David Wohlhueter — a 1960 Ithaca College graduate and former longtime sports information director at both IC and Cornell — and his wife, Susan. The contest encourages the writing of new jazz music and gives IC students the opportunity to perform new music. Students are among the contest judges, providing them with experience evaluating new musical compositions.

“We wanted to do something for the college, and Susan and I both thought this would be a fantastic program to help out because of our love of jazz,” Wohlhueter said. “It’s been a win-win situation. Not only is someone getting a stipend for winning a jazz writing contest, but our current students get to judge the contest and pick the winner.”