Soda Shoppe Jazz

On Sept. 21st, the Student Activities Council held their annual Soda Shoppe event in Marty’s. This show featured ice cream and performances from Luther’s Jazz Band and Jazz Orchestra.

At 8:45 p.m. the Jazz Band took the stage. As the band played their second song, members of the Ballroom Dance team, a cosponsor of the concert, took to the dance floor. From technical swing dances to “The Sprinkler” and “The Chicken Dance,” everyone on the dance floor enjoyed the Jazz Band performance. By the time the Jazz Orchestra took over, the dance floor was full of students and their families.

The directors of both ensembles expressed the joy and nerves they feel when playing for events such as Soda Shoppe.

“To go out there and play for a group of people that want to see you succeed is always fun,” Adjunct Faculty in Music and Jazz Band director Jon Ailabouni said. “That does not mean that there aren’t nerves.”

Professor of Music and Jazz Orchestra director, Juan Tony Guzman said at there is much joy in performing for Luther families. “We want to do our best for the people who help us, who gave us our lives, and also helped bring the students to Luther.”

Preparations for the performance were intense, considering that the groups had only two weeks to rehearse. In only a handful of rehearsals, they prepared roughly an hour and a half of music. The directors accomplished this through a careful mix of planning and discipline.

“We treat the ensembles as classes,” Guzman said. “[These performances] are an essential part in  training the musicians, but there are certain challenges with having a performance this early.”

The challenge starts well before the first rehearsal. Auditioning students are sent a packet of music at the beginning of August to practice and prepare before a rigorous day of auditions.

“It was stressful.” Bass guitarist Andrew Moore (’21) said. “You have to play whatever excerpts they give you, and something out of your solo repertoire.” Expectations in the music department are high, but members are prepared to meet the standards.

“I would say about five to seven hours a week is probably average,” Moore said. “Most sections have pretty regular sectionals to brush up on parts.” He wasn’t worried about the quick turnaround, from audition to ensemble to encore. “Everyone in the ensemble is on a level where they can pick this stuff up and run with it.”

Dr. Guzman echoed a similar sentiment.

“We are all so blessed with a talented group of musicians.”

Jazz Orchestra and Jazz Band again on October 4th for “Jazz Night at Marty’s” at 8:30 pm.

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