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.”