PV jazz bands embark on trip to Chicago

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PV jazz bands embark on trip to Chicago

Jazz One students participating in their clinic with Dr. Reggie Thomas.

Jazz One students participating in their clinic with Dr. Reggie Thomas.

Drew Anderson

Jazz One students participating in their clinic with Dr. Reggie Thomas.

Drew Anderson

Drew Anderson

Jazz One students participating in their clinic with Dr. Reggie Thomas.

Kaitlyn Ryan, Student Life Editor

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Over February 1st and 2nd, Pleasant Valley’s three jazz bands embarked on a trip to Chicago. They attended performances by world-class musicians and participated in clinics and master classes at New Trier High School.

Jazz One departed a little earlier than the others to participate in a clinic at Northern Illinois University. Senior Shreya Khurjekar commented on how beneficial an outside, professional perspective was on their playing. “Dr. Reggie Thomas offered insight into the smallest things we could change about our music, but they ended up making a huge difference in the overall sound of our ensemble.”

After their clinic, Jazz One met up with the other jazz bands at Andy’s Jazz Club, an example of a classic Chicago experience. Visitors enjoy their meal while immersed in the culture of jazz. Khurjekar described the mood of the club by saying, “The entire atmosphere just gave off the jazz vibe…from the way the announcer talked to the way the musicians were jammin’ out on stage.”

The next day, after Jazz Two and Jazz Three had partaken in their clinics, the students split up by instrument for some master classes. Each master class was taught by the members of the Count Basie Orchestra. Since each instrument has a different role in a jazz band, these incredible musicians were able to give the players specific advice related to their instrument.

Later that night, the students attended a concert at New Trier High School and were able to see the Count Basie Orchestra in action. The performance inspired Regan Breen, a senior at PV. “I can’t imagine being able to play like that, but seeing those people perform showed me it is possible if I were to continue with jazz music.”

Throughout the weekend, jazz band members were able to connect and learn from expert musicians in a variety of ways. Between the concerts, master classes, and clinics, this was an eye-opening experience for those who participated. The jazz band trip was an opportunity to experience the heart of jazz.

These students now have new techniques to utilize in their future jazz endeavors. Because of the jazz band trip, the next jazz concert will exhibit their more refined skills and talents.