Due to the recent change in events, the 2020 Iowa Jazz Championships have been canceled. The event was scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 7, but instead, performers are spending their day quarantined at home. The seniors of Jazz One are disappointed that they won’t get to experience their last Jazz Champs but are doing their best to stay positive throughout the difficult time.
“I’m very disappointed because it’s a really fun day and there’s a lot of great memories that are made on that day,” explained senior Annaleigh Babcock, “However, knowing that there’s hope that we can have another performance in the summer or when we get back to school keeps me positive.”
The band normally begins their day with a jazz breakfast, where all the members and their parents share a meal and look back at the progress they’ve made over the course of the season. Instead of hosting the meal in person in the band hall, the group met over Google Meet to share a meal.
“I thought that the Jazz Lunch was really cool because even though it was sad that we couldn’t go to jazz champs, we were able to share fun memories and laughs. It reminded us that Jazz Champs wasn’t the reason we did it, and we have a really great season to remember,” said Freshman trombone player, Morgan Uitermarkt.
Pella Jazz One gained eight new members at the beginning of the year, and will lose eight seniors at the end of the year, so next year, only six members of the band will have been to Jazz Champs before.
“Not having experienced Jazz Champs before reminds me to enjoy every performance, and practice, rather than just looking to the finish line. This year was an amazing first year in Jazz One, with or without Jazz Champs,” said Uitermarkt.
This is not quite how Director Dameon Place envisioned the year going, but is continuing to push and challenge the members of the band programs. All members of all ensembles at Pella High have been meeting regularly to stress the importance of getting better as instrumentalists.
“What we’ve done is try to set up some accountability checkups to keep everyone going. I’ve been really impressed with the progress that I’ve seen with our students over video lessons, and its been going pretty well!” said Place.