Bringing Back the Band …and Orchestra

Jazz Band and Chamber Orchestra return to ALHS


Zoe Sadauskis

The Albert Lea Jazz Band practices Monday and Thursday mornings. The saxophonists were lined up and as they rehearsed some of their music. “Going into it I was looking for something that would challenge me and be a great experience, and Jazz Band is just that,” said Nevaeh Wacholz, an eighth grade saxophone player.

This school year, students have been anticipating if their activities would be held and most have been canceled. Two activities that have had a delayed beginning are Jazz Band and Chamber Orchestra.

‟I didn’t think that we would be able to because again, it was still kind of unsure if band was even a thing at that point in the beginning,” said Katie Holt, a junior trumpeter at ALHS. “Like how would that work if we could be spaced out? So, at first, I didn’t think it was going to happen.”  

Many students were hesitant about the music activities at the beginning of the year. As first semester came to an end, they began to question if  the music programs were going to happen at all this year. 

‟For the beginning of the year I was hopeful, but once we passed second quarter without it happening I was like, ‘it’s not going to happen’,” said Emma Barclay, a senior cellist at ALHS.

Despite all of the doubts, the Jazz Band Director, Suzanne Mauer, and Chamber Orchestra Director, Rebekah Crissinger, figured out a way to make both work.

Though it wouldn’t be the same as previous years, it was all pretty normal besides the fact that they had to wear masks and be spaced out which isn’t typically what is normal. 

‟So Jazz Band is kind of like the one thing this year that is semi-normal,” said Mauer, the band director at ALHS. “So it’s been really fun and we have the right instruments and we have the right combination of people all there at the same time so that has been really cool.”

While these activities are starting later than they normally would, the students participating in these activities are still happy with the news that Jazz Band and Chamber Orchestra are still going on. 

‟I think that since we aren’t getting to do as many things, just the fact that we’re able to practice and play together is enough for me,” said Holt. “It’s still fun, we still get to jump around and play good music together which I think we all kind of need right now.”

There were many doubts, but the members managed to work out.