Jazz band takes 6th at State

By: Austin Anderson

The expectations were contained heading into the Iowa high school jazz championships for the CFHS jazz band last week in Des Moines. As the names of the schools kept getting listed from 15th down through 10th place, there wasn’t much in question. Then the first celebration began when the Tiger jazz band wasn’t named the ninth best band at the championships because that would mean they received a trophy for placing in the top eight 4A jazz bands in Iowa.

Even at this point there was no pressure felt by the musicians because of their instructor’s support.  “Mr. Engelhardt always harps on us about not caring about the scores, and he just tells us to have fun, so I kinda just have fun,” senior drummer Kyler Boss said.

The next celebration came when the Tigers were announced in sixth place. “I was thinking, ‘Wow, this is great.’ But at the same time I felt we deserved it because we had been trying so hard to play the best that we can,” Boss said.

Throughout Boss’s three years in Jazz One, this is the highest finish his bands have received, placing 8th in his sophomore year and not receiving a trophy his junior year. Boss said he is not only very proud of the band but believes this is the best band he’s ever been a part of. “I’m really proud of my bandmates because they kind of threw me off guard. I didn’t think they all would be as good as they are this year. My expectations were exceeded.”

Being proud of this band didn’t stop there for Boss as they are headed down to the Iowa bandmasters conference in Des Moines in May. Only a single jazz band from across the state is selected to be a part of the conference, and no band from Cedar Falls had ever been selected before. “The opportunity to perform at IBA in May for the state Band convention,” band director Kyle Engelhardt said, “is a huge honor, and it’s going to be an outstanding performance. I was extremely excited for the students to get this incredibly unique opportunity.”

At the conference, all of the band directors from across the state come together and they listen to the best bands in Iowa. Those best bands in Iowa now include Cedar Falls as they are prepared to play eight tunes at the conference, two of which they still have to learn. “The students in Jazz One are some incredibly talented people and have received a lot of recognition this year for their efforts,” Engelhardt said in praise of his band.

It’ll be the last performance for this band together, making it bittersweet, but Boss is excited to add this accolade on to his already impressive high school career that includes being a two-time All State jazz drummer, and he is appreciative, a feeling that is shared by his bandmates. “I have had the opportunities that many high school students will never ever get to experience, and I am greatly thankful for that.”

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.