Jazzin’ it up in jazz

Lilianne Harris, Beat Editor

I am the worst musician in jazz band, and I love it. See, usually people know how to play their instrument when joining an audition-only group; I learned trombone in the month before auditioning. Even though I had the drive to get better, this would have been a big problem in any other group.

With Liberty’s jazz band, though, I haven’t felt pressure over being horrible, but instead I’ve gotten help and time to improve. That is due entirely to the culture the band itself cultivates.

Even if you’re not great, performing in a concert setting is difficult. Performing is even harder in the commons on Wednesday mornings, being judged so blatantly by your peers.

Somehow, though, everybody’s shared passion makes these performances the most exciting and satisfying of all. It’s the artform itself that pulls all of us to the band; the prestige of saying “I’m in jazz” was not a major factor in why anyone joined, and as a result the culture has that focus on improvement.

Of course, it isn’t just due to the band members. Our director, Mr. Tanner, puts in an incredible amount of work to portray our energy through the music we play. As an off-the-wall, opinionated group of people, we play a ton of upbeat, fun music; even the slower charts we read reflect us in how fun it is.

Though everyone there has been put through the gauntlet that is playing a solo in front of at least the rest of the band, playing poorly will just result in you knowing you can improve, and I’m incredibly thankful for everything that’s caused that.