Blue Jay Band Caps Off the Year with Spirited Spring Concert

Posted May 10, 2024 / Last updated May 26, 2024

Print Print Email Email Share Share

On a vibrant, music-filled evening, the Blue Jay Band held its much-anticipated annual spring concert under the direction of Joe Caluda ’79. The symphonic band and the jazz band, which is led by Jason Giaccone, both performed a repertoire that captivated the audience of students, families, alumni, and future Blue Jays. Lighting and special effects took the event to the next level thanks to the technical and artistic expertise of D.J. Galiano ’07.

The concert opened with the patriotic tones of the “Star Spangled Banner,” setting a reverent tone for the evening. The program featured dynamic performances, showcasing pieces that ranged from classical compositions to modern arrangements, but both the concert and jazz band made a special nod to the date—May 4, or “May the Fourth”—with selections from Star Wars.

Honor band participants from both junior high and senior high levels were honored by name. Junior High Honor Band members included Arav Kamboj, Jacob Klibert, Alex Rodriguez, Riley Schaneville, and Justin Trepagnier, and this year’s Senior High District Honor Band musicians were Andrew Frey, Harrison Harley, Mark Johnson, and Frank Young. Young was also named to the prestigious LMEA All-State band, a highly competitive ensemble made up of the top high school instrumental musicians in the state.

Caluda reflected on the journey of the graduating seniors, noting their leadership and achievements both in and out of the musical arena. During the course of the year, seniors Max Bartlett and John Rose were both named National Merit Semifinalists, and the pair also attained perfect scores on the ACT. Caluda praised the seniors for setting high standards and providing mentorship to the largest incoming class of pre-freshmen band members during his tenure at Jesuit.

“Parents, thank you for making music a priority in your sons’s life,” said Caluda. “These young men are blessed beyond words that you put music at the forefront of their education, especially during their time here at Jesuit. It has been my privilege to share in this journey with you, and together we have watched your sons grow, mature, and truly become men for others.”

Johnson was named the recipient of both the Professor Michael Cupero Band Leadership and Musical Excellence Award and the Vincent Liberto Second Place Award for Instrumental Music Excellence. Young was honored with the Francis A Fox S.J. Memorial Overall First Place Award for Instrumental Music Excellence.

Caluda also encouraged graduating seniors to continue making music a part of their lives, emphasizing its role in enriching the soul and fostering authentic community. Senior parents received a special thanks for their support and dedication to nurturing the musical gifts of their children.

While the concert marked the end of a successful school year for the band program, this coming summer brings a historical musical milestone: the 25th anniversary of the German Student Exchange Program. In just a few weeks, members of the band will represent the Jesuit in Germany as a part of this initiative.