Students get jazzed up to perform live concerts again

Local News

Some local high school students are antsy to perform live music again after being away from each other for a year during the pandemic.

The Davenport Central Jazz Band held its first live performance for an audience in 15 months.

It means a lot to the musicians to get the band back together.

“Tonight is our final jazz concert of the year. We’re featuring Jazz 2 and Jazz 1,” said Davenport Central Associate Director of Bands Brian Zeglis. “We have 40 students that worked really hard all year, and this is their final performance of the year.”

Zeglis says music classes are unique in that they provide an outlet for students.

He adds students also learn how to work together as a team.

“Music gives our kids an outlet that they don’t get in other curricular classes. It allows them freedom of expression, cooperation as a team,” said Zeglis. “I really think it’s a really positive melding of all the different aspects that we try to give them in school.”

Michelle Solis-Russell, creator of the Heights of the Era festival held every year during the Bix 7 Road Race, is a huge music fan.

“Music just makes your heart sing,” she said.

For Sierra Craig, a senior, performing is an uplifting experience.

“Music just has always been a really fun thing for me. It’s always just given me more energy,” said Craig. “It’s just really cool, especially in the end product, when it works out well. It just shows all of our hard work paid off, and we’re not doing this for nothing, and it’s just a really great feeling.”

Craig enjoys being able to share her passion for music with her friends.

“It’s also just fun to be with your friends, playing music together,” she added.

Solis-Russell sees music as an escape that brings the community together.

“No matter what the genre, I think that it just can take you to a different place,” she said. “I think we all want to come together this summer, after the past year, as a community; as comrades, and really enjoying stepping back in time.”

Missed Thursday’s indoor performance? The Davenport Central Jazz Band will have an outdoor performance beginning at 5:15 p.m. Friday on the Lindsay Park lawn, weather permitting.

If it rains, the event will be moved to the Village Theatre.

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