Blue Jay Band Puts on a Show, Scores Top Ratings at Music Festival
By Jason LaHatte, Features Editor
During halftime at every football game, the Blue Jay Band takes the field for practice and preparation for their final festival.
Just like any athletic team, the band goes to camp in July to learn drill, practice up to three times a week in grueling two-hour blocks, and prepare the Friday night shows.
The fans have seen bits and pieces of the full show with some dance features in between. All 126 members of the group are essential for a great show.The band’s show this year, titled “Rhapsody in Blue and White,” featured three rhapsody songs: George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” Rachmaninoff’s “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini,” and Queen’s famous “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Continuing the trend of the past three years, this show was radically different from a traditional marching band presentation.
The Blue Jay Band and the Jayettes wore lights on their uniforms, which were lit blue for one half and white for the other half of the group. In addition, each half of the band wore either blue or white plumes. The different arrangements helped visualize the show’s title.
The band marched a show that brought out the color arrangement; twice in the show, both halves of the band cross, which perfectly demonstrates what the blue and white theme was going for.
When asked about this year’s show, Joe Caluda, the Blue Jay band director, said, “This year’s show continues to push the envelope of what the band and Jayettes can do.
“They worked hard since July to develop a show that peaked during the festival,” he said. “I am extremely proud of the band an
d Jayettes for this.”
“Rhapsody in Blue and White” featured three soloists: junior Anthony Stoner on mellophone, freshman Kyle Selle on baritone, and a stellar trumpet solo performed by senior Matthew Stephens.
Last month, the Blue Jay Band and Jayettes finished their marching season with a superior ranking at the Louisiana Music Educators Association marching band festival.
The band’s hard work finally paid off. The band’s complete scores: the Jayettes, Superior; percussion, Excellent; drum major Patrick Fine, Superior; overall band, Superior.
Each year the band provides Jesuit with a modern show; and when asked about what next year’s show will bring, Caluda simply said, “I have no idea what’s in store for next year, but it will be something different.”