Jazz Band holds event preparing and fundraising for upcoming New Orleans trip


Photo by Alex Ketcham

Josh Thompson directs Jazz Band in preparation for Jazz by the Lake. This is the Jazz Band that will be traveling to New Orleans this spring.

Alex Ketcham, Bear Facts contributor

Jazz Band will hold Jazz By The Lake at Royal Melbourne Country Club on February 9 in preparation for the Band’s upcoming trip to New Orleans.

Royal Melbourne Country Club in Long Grove will turn into a New Orleans style Carnavale with music, raffles, and a silent auction for an adults only event will serve as a fundraiser in order to support  private music lessons and band camps for band students.

“It’s supposed to be a fun night for parents to get out and hang out together” Josh Thompson, band director, said. “Jazz Band provides all the music for the evening, which is really fun.”

The event is not only for band parents, but it is an event for the community. So much so that over 100 people are in attendance and the event is already sold out. Not to mention its a way for the Jazz Band to get a cool opportunity to play in a festive setting and fundraise at the same time, according to Thompson.

“It’s a semi-formal atmosphere I think. We’re kind of just performing there as background music for a dinner,” Nick Hervatin, senior band member, said. “There’s jazz music in the background and some people will even get up when they’re not eating and dance sometimes. It’s a very fun night.”

The Jazz Band will be in New Orleans March 23-30. Participants will listen to music at Preservation Hall, a famous jazz venue, play with Steamboat Willie, and go on a river cruise, according to Thompson.

“[New Orleans] is the birthplace of jazz. That town lives and breathes jazz,” Thompson said. “There’s just so many experiences and reasons for the students to go.”

The trip doesn’t just include authentic New Orleans jazz though, the Jazz band will be involved with community service projects during the trip to make a greater impact and to create a sense of unity.

“I like to travel with the group because it brings the group together,” Thompson said. “The trip gives [Jazz Band] something to work towards and goals to work towards.”