CHS Jazz Blows Audience Away With Arctic Blast

On Tuesday Dec. 20, cheers of applause filled Lydia Mendelssohn Theater. The audience of around 100 was there to watch the CHS Jazz Band perform in their annual Arctic Blast Concert. Thomas Reid, a jun

Anjali Kakarla

ior at CHS, played the clarinet with the Jazz ll band.

“I thought it went well,” Reid said. “I think last year was kind of rough just coming off of Covid, but having more time to practice and more time to be exposed to other people in real time just kind of helped everyone along this year. There’s a big difference from playing your instrument all alone in your basement to being able to play with everyone else.”

Reid and the band have been getting ready for the event since the school year began but they have been on “hardcore prep mode” for the past month. One of the reasons for this extensive preparation is so that the band can continue to uphold the high standards CHS Jazz has had in the past.

“The expectation is that we’re going to do great and that this isn’t just a ‘you come because your kid’s in the concert’, but because this is amazing music,” Reid said. “I feel a pressure to excel and to just always keep going and keep trying to do my absolute best.”

Lila Fetter is another junior at CHS. She played the tenor saxophone and was featured as a vocalist. One of Fetter’s favorite parts of the event was getting to see all the other bands perform.

“I think what’s special about this event is getting to see all of the different levels of jazz come together,” Fetter said. “Since we’re all in different classes, we don’t really get to hear each other play as much and I think it was really cool to hear the other groups.”

Fetter has noticed a big change from previous bands she’s been in to CHS Jazz. One of the changes is how much smaller the ensembles at CHS are.

“What is special about the jazz program in general is just how small the ensembles are and how tight knit it is,” Fetter said.

Another change Fetter notices is how much more each individual player’s music matters.

Bridgette Kelly

“You really get to be featured with the size of the ensembles,” Fetter said. “Before, when I would play, I would feel like I was being drowned out by the big band. I would feel like if I stopped playing it wouldn’t matter, but now it’s like ‘okay, I have to know my stuff’. That sense of accountability really pushes us as musicians.”

Fetter believes that not only has the band gotten better as musicians, but also as friends.

“These past few months we’ve really been grinding it out together and sort of finding our sound as a band,” Fetter said. “I think we’ve also gotten a lot better lately because of how much closer we’ve gotten socially to each other. Before we were just acquaintances who were forced into a combo to play music together, but I feel like I can call them friends now.”