Hello all! I have been out for awhile, partly because last Wednesday through Sunday I was touring with the jazz band as we performed in different spots around the Indiana/Illinois region. It was a memorable trip and one that I think was a great success in representing our university well. I play the baritone saxophone (the big one that makes really low sounds) and it was a blast getting to play in the different venues, even though there was snow EVERYWHERE. Here is a short recap of all that we got in to throughout the tour.
On Wednesday we left campus around noon and made our way to Brownstown, Indiana, where a Trevecca alum is the youth pastor at a small Nazarene church. We played for their Wednesday evening service and stayed at church members’ homes that night. It was cool to see a congregation be so willing to open up their homes (and kitchens) to let a bunch of college kids stay the night. We left early Thursday morning.
We drove for about four hours Thursday morning and stopped at a middle school in Zionsville, Indiana. It was a very, very nice school. We got to sit in on the fifth grade band class and play with the students, which was my favorite part of the day. A fifth grader named Luke informed me that my bari sax was “crazy awesome.” I could have stayed with that class all day! We played a concert for all of the middle schoolers later that day and some of the ridiculously talented music instructors at the school took some solos with us.
Thursday night we left for the Chicago area, where we were set to play at a festival the next day at Elmhurst college in Elmhurst, Illinois. We arrived at our hotel (which was really nice) and went to get something to eat, and I experienced my first Chicago hot dog. Wow. Just wow.
Friday we played the festival at Elmhurst and got good reviews from our judges. The hall we played in was fantastic. After we finished playing, we went to dinner at Giordano’s Pizza. Let me tell you something, if you haven’t had Giordano’s, pack up your bags right now and go to Chicago. I don’t even care what you’re doing. That night we got to hear the one and only Count Basie Orchestra, the best jazz ensemble in the world. The hall was sold out – front row to back row of the balcony was packed. That ensemble is incredible. I’m not sure I’ve ever heard a trumpet player play that high. If you ever get a chance to hear them, you should definitely do it!
Saturday we spent a good chunk of the day travelling, but the evening was the highlight of the whole trip. We came down from Chicago to Fort Wayne, Indiana, because a four-star restaurant had agreed to let us play in the dining room. The restaurant was called the Phoenix, and it was a very cool place. They gave us pizza for dinner. I think we had pizza for almost every meal, actually… Anyways, getting to play in the restaurant was extremely fun. There was a standing-room only crowd, and they loved us. We played really well. too, feeding off the crowd’s energy.
The next morning we were set to play at a local church, so Saturday night we stayed in host family homes from the congregation, and they, too, were very gracious. We played at the church the next morning and they fed us lunch afterwards (not pizza!!) and we left around 1 and made it back in Nashville around 7:30.
Overall it was a fun tour, and I’m glad I got to spend it with the people I did. To all of the high school seniors in Indiana that we met, we’ll see you here at TNU next fall!
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