Spring Band Wrap Up

The+Jazz+Band+trumpet+players+warm+up+for+the+Alma+Jazz+Festival.

Courtesy Photo

The Jazz Band trumpet players warm up for the Alma Jazz Festival.

Korah Honig , Writer

The St. Louis band program has had a lot of performances in the past few weeks, and students finally got a chance to be on stage!

It all kicked off with a high school jazz and steel concert Tuesday, March 8. All five of the middle school and high school bands played. The middle school jazz band is held during their ‘What I Need’ or WIN class, and they have a whopping 17 students! How exciting to have so many students interested in band. Especially since across the country the amount of students in band has decreased since quarantine. 

The middle school steel band also performed and they meet once a week after school to practice. The two high school steel bands, as well as the high school jazz band, played. One standout from the night was definitely Riley Davis. On Monday he was home sick when Mr. Lawhorne contacted him. The usual guitar player was gone for vacation and the band needed a soloist for Nirvana’s song “Come as You Are.” Riley learned the solo and performed it very well the next day.

 Allison Onstott, a steel class member, said, “I thought that the jazz and steel concert went really well. I really enjoy being a part of the steel band class. Last year I played the doubles, but this year I started to play the leads more. I thought that Riley’s solo was awesome! He also has one in “We’re Not Gonna Take It” and I always look forward to hearing it during class.” The guitar was definitely a standout as well with Adam Shattuck soloing on the Scorpions song “Rock You Like a Hurricane” with the jazz band.

The middle and high school’s concert bands followed Thursday, March 17. The sixth through eighth-grade bands played, and a conjoined seventh and eighth-grade band did as well. Seventh-grader Grace Devine plays the saxophone. She commented, “I think it went great! It was very cool being able to play in front of people.”

 The high schoolers played three songs. One was very exciting with vocals. There was a chant in the song “Seige” and the low brass section seemed to take it to another level, especially one trombone player, senior Aaron Bowerman, who wasn’t shy about his vocals. He commented, “I’ve never been afraid to use my voice to its fullest extent and I just don’t understand people who are quite.” Junior Maria Puga-Trevino was laughing hysterically the first time Bowerman did it. She commented, “I think this was a great addition to the song. We were all originally supposed to say the phrases but Aaron made an interesting mark on the song early on. On behalf of the St. Louis High School band, this was the funniest song we have done!”

The following day, The high school Jazz band participated in the annual Alma Jazz Festival. The students were able to go and play three songs for an audience and watch other high school bands play from across Michigan. The Music Boosters held a 50/50 raffle at the concert band performance and the proceeds went toward paying for lunch for the students. They were provided pizzas from Mancino’s and they were all very grateful. It was the first time in years that the band was able to go, and it was the seniors first time attending. Four-year member Demetrius Alspaugh commented, “I think it was really cool how they hold that annually. It’s an honor to listen to all the bands’ music and the time they put in.  I’m also really thankful to Music Boosters for paying for our lunch, pretty bussin.” Overall, it was a fun day for the group.

Music boosters leader and band parent, Derek Jewell, commented about the all-around play. He said, “This year’s jazz, steel, and concert bands continue to impress as they performed at this year’s spring concerts and the Alma Jazz Festival. The Steel Band class took the big stage at the Arts United fundraiser and rocked the house. Such a blast hearing these students play. Can’t wait for the spring Pops! concert!”

The Pops! concert will be Tuesday, May 17, and will feature every St. Louis Band. It will be a very exciting event to cap off the year.