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Jazz band starts season strong

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Jazz Band One recieves a critique after their performance at the State Jazz Festival. Photo Submitted.

Jazz Band One recieves a critique after their performance at the State Jazz Festival. Photo Submitted.

Jazz Band One recieves a critique after their performance at the State Jazz Festival. Photo Submitted.

Kathleen Kenney, A&E Writer

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While Xavier students can be very busy, some have decided to give of their limited time to be involved in Xavier Jazz Band.

On Monday January 22, Xavier Jazz Band One received a Division I rating at the State Jazz Festival. They received scores of 47, 48, and 49 out of 50 from the three judges critiquing them. A Division I rating is awarded to groups that receive an average score greater than or equal to 45 points, Jazz Band One’s average score of 48 cemented their placement as a Division I group.

“It was our first time being on stage this season,” Xavier Band Director Kelli Swehla said. “We hadn’t even rehearsed on a stage yet! It was nice to actually travel, perform, and do it well. The students performed very well and I think we are eager to perform in more competitions as the season progresses.”

There are two jazz bands at Xavier. Jazz Band One, which has 20 students, practices Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 7 a.m. Jazz Band Two, which has 31 students, practices Thursday night from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. The students are accepted into each group based on an audition process.

Jazz Band One’s performance consisted of four songs: “Symphony In Riffs” by Benny Carter Evelyn, “Queen of the Racquet Club” by Bob Florence, “East St. Louis Toodle-oo” by Duke Ellington, and “Bubber Miley Summertime” by George Gershwin, which was arranged by Steve Shanley.

“My favorite song is ‘East Saint Louis Toodle-oo’,” senior Caleb Burken said. “This Duke Ellington piece brings you back to the 1920s. It is very gritty and authentic, which makes the song very unique.”

Xavier Jazz Band One will play at the Tallcorn Jazz Festival at the University of Northern Iowa on February 17, the Coe College Jazz Summit on February 23, and the NEIBA District Festival in Independence on March 3. If Jazz Band One receives first or second place at the NEIBA District Festival, they will continue on to the State Championships on April 5 at Iowa State University. Jazz Band Two will perform at the Coe College Jazz Summit.

Kathleen Kenney

A&E Writer

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Jazz band starts season strong