High school bands battled it out Sunday at the Manhattan School of Music.
The first ever Charles Mingus High School Competition featured the top five bands in big band and jazz combo from around the northeast.
Three of the bands are from right here in the city.
The groups sent in tapes, which were judged, to earn a spot in the competition.
Students and directors say making music starts with chemistry.
"We all kind of have the same goal musically. And we all know why we come every Saturday. And it's a very good environment," said Luke Celenza, a pianist.
"Everybody has a similar kind of drive to really to get this music down. Everybody really wants to learn. It's a really good driving force going into that group," said Ensemble Director Jeremy Manasia.
Awards are being handed out in several categories. Two students will also receive scholarships to the Manhattan School of Music.