St. Louis High School Jazz Band performed at the CMU Jazz Festival


Autumn Mann

Curtis Bradshaw prepares himself as he practices for the festival.

Rowan Harris, Staff Writer

The St. Louis High School jazz band performed at the Central Michigan University Jazz Festival Friday, Feb. 10, alongside many other jazz bands from all throughout Michigan. The band left the school early in the morning and traveled to the college campus, and performed for a crowd and a panel of judges. After this, the band was able to participate in a clinic, where the group were given critique and advice.

The band also got to see several other bands’ performances, including one particular group of several different types of saxophones. Many of the members of the band enjoyed this performance and had many comments regarding the event.

“I mean, my favorite aspect of the event was the food,” joked freshman Harley Mader. “But the saxophones were all right, too. Maybe they were more than all right, actually.”

Mader himself is a baritone saxophonist, so being able to see someone at a higher level playing his instrument professionally was a great experience. This was one of many parts of the festival, and is one of the reasons why director Stephen Lawhorne enrolled the band in the event.  

The day was a great way for the group to be able to practice its own technique and to be able to see other performances. Lawhorne, who coordinated the band’s attendance at the event, elaborated on the importance of the experience for the band.

“The importance of attending a festival,” remarked Lawhorne,  “is preparing music at a high level to be critiqued by professionals and listening to other bands perform.” The band was able to be critiqued on a personal level, as after their performance, the group after them canceled, allowing for some extra review.

“I liked the clinic they sprung on us at the last minute. I enjoy, and learn from, other teachers working with my students,” elaborated Lawhorne.

The band will be attending two more festivals throughout the upcoming months, and they will have more time to practice and improve their technique.