Blue Jay Band Ranks All Superior at LMEA Marching Festival
At the sound of “Welcome to the Machine” the Blue Jay Marching Band and Jayettes kicked it into high gear at the LMEA District VI Marching Assessment Festival at Joe Yenni Stadium in Metairie on Monday, October 28. With 10 foot by 20 foot blue gear-walls as their backdrop, the Jesuit band members gave a stellar performance that was a seamless flow of both music and drill in three movements. Accompanying the band’s musical mastery and panache were the Jayettes with flowing dance numbers, handmade gear props, and custom dresses. The show also featured soloists senior Dominic Stoner on flute, senior Jacob Mercer on piano, and junior Dominic Senentz on trumpet. A new addition to the performance was the use of wireless mics and computerized sound samples with a full field coverage Stereo PA Sound System.
The performance had been a labor of love for the Blue Jay band and Jayettes since the beginning of summer. Band director, Joe Caluda, expressed just how much thought and time went into it saying, “We planted the seeds for ‘Machine’ at our summer band camp at Nicholls State University back in July and have been working on it since. The show has been evolving since it was first introduced at band camp and new drill moves, props, etc. were still being added the week before the festival.” Thrilled with their performance he praised his students saying, “Every year we try to do something different and push the envelope as far as thematic material, drill difficulty level, props, etc. This year we were able to accomplish all of these challenge goals as well as creating a show that both the Band Members and Jayettes embraced and really enjoyed working on and performing.”
The Jays and Jayettes’ many hours of hard work did not go unnoticed by the judges. Teams are graded on four classifications — overall band, auxiliary (Jayettes), percussion (pit and battery percussion), and drum majors — which are each rated I–V, I being the highest grade of “Superior.” The six-panel, multi-state judges all awarded the Band and Jayettes Superior (I) ratings for each category.
The 2019-20 Blue Jay Marching Band is led by drum majors senior Lloyd Passafume and junior Hunter Richardson, while the Jayettes are led by captain senior Jordan Kleehammer.