Jazz season overview

Christine Hilario, A&E Writer

Hard work pays off. After months of practices, competitions and performances, the jazz band season has come to an end.

Xavier High School’s Jazz Band Two (JBT) competed at one competition this year. At the Coe Jazz Summit on February 28, senior trumpet player Christine Hilario received an Honorable Mention for Outstanding Musician.

“As a whole, I’m proud of our competition,” Jessica Humphries, senior baritone saxophone player for JBT, said. “I feel like we just went and did the best we could. Whether we did good or not from a competition standpoint, we all just had fun while playing, which I think is most important.”

Jazz Band One (JBO) competed at four competitions this year. The group placed first at the Tallcorn Jazz Competition on February 20 with junior Avery Arens on the melodica and sophomore Ava Melchior on the tenor saxophone as Outstanding Soloists. On February 21, they placed second at the Liberty Jazz Festival. Next, they competed at the Coe Jazz Summit on February 28 where they placed second with senior Juliana Karl on trombone receiving an Honorable Mention for Outstanding Musician. Finally, at the NEIBA District Jazz Festival on March 7, JBO placed second out of 18 bands.

Placing second at the NEIBA District Jazz Festival allowed JBO to be able to compete at the Iowa Jazz Championships for the sixth consecutive year in a row. However, the Iowa Jazz Championships were canceled due to COVID-19.

“I’m sad about the Iowa Jazz Championships being canceled,” Karl said. “It is my favorite competition and is what the season always builds up to. To me, it is a missed opportunity to hear all of the best jazz bands around the state.”

Karl is planning on participating in marching band next year in college. Other senior JBO members planning on continuing to make music in college are trumpeter Emma Stadelmann, alto saxophonist Katherine Surur and bassist and guitarist Ben Trachta. Trachta will be either majoring or minoring in music as well as participating in ensembles.

In JBT, seniors Hilario, bass saxophonist Genevieve Reed and tenor saxophonist Olivia Nolte will take part in extracurricular bands in college.

Along with competing, JBO recorded a song with a professional musician, accordionist Todd Munnik, for the Corridor Jazz Project CD on January 15. They then performed at a concert for the Corridor Jazz Project on March 10.

The numerous concerts and performances both jazz bands participated in could have only been accomplished through hard work.

“If you want to see results, you have to put in work—a lot of work, but it is always worth it,” Karl said.