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Ball State Jazz Festival removed from agenda, Jazz Bands adapt


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Usually around April every year, the four Jazz Bands go to the Ball State Jazz festival where they can hang out with friends, listen to music and perform. This year, this is not the case, as the four Jazz bands will not be able to go to the festival due to conflicts in their calendar.

According to Andy Cook, Associate Director of Bands Carmel jazz bands have done the Ball State Jazz Festival for three years, but will not be able to go this year, as the ISSMA solo and ensemble state competition is on the same day as the festival.

Like many members of jazz band, Aleck Belcher, jazz band member and sophomore said he was disappointed but still planned to enjoy the festival like the upperclassmen did in previous years. Belcher and his combo (a small ensemble, usually numbering between three to six jazz performers) decided to go to the festival independently from the school’s bands.

“Well you know I’m rehearsing with my combo right now, and we are actually going to go to that event by ourselves though the Carmel Jazz Band isn’t going. Pretty much everybody who is doing Jazz Band anyways is going with a combo or a trio,” Belcher said.

Some students like jazz band member and sophomore Mitch Lipe,  however, did not elect to go to the festival and are instead “curious to know what the directors are planning” in place of the festival, according to Lipe.

“We are doing (a concert), it’s called Jazz Expressions, it’s where we have a guest artist come and perform with all four bands, in the auditorium,” Cook said, “We will most likely be inviting a trombonist who plays with the ISO, actually, which is more traditional, but he also does jazz themed music and plays around town. And he teaches lessons here with our kids, and I think he is going to play trombone with all four groups this year.”

Even though the jazz bands will not be able to go to the festival this year, they will be able to perform with a well-known guest artist. The bands will get a lot of practice looking forward to Jazz Expressions.

The four jazz bands rehearse every morning to prepare for their different events.

While some members will prepare just for the school events, others will be preparing for the Ball State festival as well.

“To prepare for the festival and the other events, I’m going to keep rehearsing with my combo and in the band. We’ll play a lot of jazz standards, write a lot of music; it’ll be pretty good,” Belcher said.


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