Hillsdale College Big Band. Courtesy | Julia Hoyda

The Hillsdale College Jazz Ensemble’s Big Band & Little Big Band per­for­mance scheduled for Sat­urday, Nov. 14 has been can­celed due to COVID-19, according to Director of Jazz Ensembles Chris McCourry. 

The annual concert was set to feature three bands: the Hillsdale College Jazz Band, the Little Big Band, and the Last Minute. According to Little Big Band director Jonathan Gewirtz, the evening’s reper­toire would have included a wide variety of musical styles, including big band, bebop, Latin, vocal, and fusion jazz.

“I think it’s important for the stu­dents to expe­rience as much of the diversity in the many styles of jazz as pos­sible,” Gewirtz said. “With that idea in mind, we’ll feature pieces com­posed by Miles Davis, Count Basie, and Ray Charles.”

Before the program was can­celed, however, the band members were already facing chal­lenges. Junior Oliver Aho, who was set to play trumpet in all three bands, said that the Last Minute, which was sup­posed to play during inter­mission, had been can­celed because most of the musi­cians were in quar­antine. Coro­n­avirus-related absences plagued the other bands as well.

“We’re missing a solid five people,” Aho said. 

Luckily, the musi­cians’ passion for jazz makes it likely we’ll be able to see them in concert before too long. 

“It’s the best music that exists,” Aho said. “It’s pretty much all I listen to.”