The show goes on

Madelynn Dake

In the ever changing world created by the COVID-19 pandemic, Xavier’s Jazz Band One and Jazz Band Two are finding ways to make the most of every situation. Jazz Band One and Jazz Band Two are groups of musicians who perform jazz music as an ensemble, with Jazz Band one having 20 members and Jazz Band Two having 26. Certain measures such as social distancing and instrument covers may have been implemented, but both groups are still coming with the same expectations.

 “The part of jazz band that has stayed the same is the attitude towards it. It’s not something where you can go through the season without having practiced, it’s something that will challenge you,” says Jazz Band Two member Gus Bates. “It’s different for each person, but there will be at least one part of Jazz Band that makes you uncomfortable, but you learn to make it less so”.

Many things have also taken place virtually this year and being added to that list is the State Jazz Band Festival on Monday January 25, with Xavier’s Jazz Band One participating. In years past, the group would perform their contest pieces in person, but this year, they will have to record their numbers and submit them for judging. This is different from what Xavier’s performers are used to, but it is not stopping them from setting high goals.

“Our singular goal is always to perform the best we can, and of course, it would be nice if that resulted in us receiving a Division I rating,” Director of Bands Kelli Swehla said.“I think another goal I have is for students to feel lucky and grateful to be able to perform together as many of our colleagues have not been able to in the Cedar Rapids district.”

While the Saints have had more challenges this year, they are focusing on the positives by working hard, being thankful for their opportunities and keeping jazz band fun.

“We are preparing as we normally do for a regular season; rehearsals at 7:00 a.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday,” senior Jazz Band One member Avery Arens said. “I’ve always looked forward to being with my band and experiencing all of the fun memories that come with performing, even if it’s virtual.”

COVID-19 has changed a lot about the world, but the Saints’ goal still remains to give their best performances and make the best out of every situation placed before them.