Blue Jays Get Tuned In at Annual Band Camp

Posted August 7, 2018 / Last updated August 10, 2018

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Led by senior Drum major William Mentz, the Blue Jay Marching Band practices the Alma Mater.

Led by senior drum major William Mentz, the Blue Jay Marching Band practices the Alma Mater.

With the school year just around the corner, the Blue Jay Band and Jayettes spent the last week of summer gearing up for the fall season. Just a hop and a skip away from Carrollton and Banks, they bused to the halls of Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, where they welcomed new members into their ranks for a week of equal parts hard work and fun. Undeterred by torrential rain or blistering heat, the bandsmen and dancers fostered a sense of kinship as they rehearsed and practiced together in preparation for a year of entertaining Blue Jay fans.

The seniors practice their dog themed dance routine to the song "Who Let the Dogs Out."

The seniors practice their dog-themed dance routine to the song “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

The annual band camp also acted as a great opportunity for the new drum major to grow into his leadership role. The drum major for the 2018-2019 school year, senior William Mentz, orchestrated all the practices for the band’s football halftime show. This practice was also spent with the Jesuit Jayettes, coached by Chloe Crosby and moderated by Susan de Boisblanc, who coordinated their field performances with the band to create a skillful displace of music, marching, and dance.

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In addition to the halftime performances, the band also took this time to plan out their yearly musical program, which fully showcases the band’s broad range of musical styles and talent. Under the direction of Joe Caluda ’79 and assistant band director Jason Giaccone, the band looked to the year ahead which will feature two seasonal concerts, multiple marches in carnival season and Disney parades, competition in the District VI marching festival, and assistance in the spring musical performed by the Philelectic Society.

After a week of musical enrichment, camp concluded with a spirited performance by the senior Jayettes and Blue Jay bandsmen. The senior members spent most of their down time brainstorming and practicing their skit together. This year the performance centered on dog-themed songs like “Who Let the Dogs Out” and “You Ain’t Nothing but a Hound Dog,” and was a howling success with all of the other campers.

With a renewed sense of connection to one another and to Jesuit, the Blue Jay Band and Jesuit Jayettes look forward to an ambitious repertoire for the 2018-2019 school year. The Blue Jay Band is all set to continue its legacy of providing excellent musical entertainment for the Jesuit community and fostering the connection that Jesuit students have enjoyed since 1847.