A golden score

SHS jazz band competes in their first competition


Maupin and the band poses for a picture with their awards. The band won gold on March 4. Photo contributed by Jeff Maupin

On Friday, March 4, the SHS jazz band participated in their first competitive meet. This was a new change, but they excelled, earning one gold score and one perfect score.

The band attended the Indiana State School Music Association Jazz Festival, also known as the ISSMA Jazz Festival. This event took place at Whiteland High School.

The reason for attending this year as opposed to the absence in previous years is because of the new band teacher, Jeff Maupin.

“I was excited… just another fun chance for the kids to play,” Maupin said. 

There were two sections of jazz band created in order to give more students a chance to get involved. The first is the in class group. They learned their material during the last period of the day since not all students have room in their schedules to take the class at that set period a second group was made. The second group was practicing after school instead of during the last period of the day. Many students are in both. 

Each section competed separately, and they each performed separate musical pieces.

Despite this being the first time attending, the preparations were not much different than typical jazz band activities. 

“Usually we just have charts we are working on, and we pick three of our best charts we’ve got to go play…” Maupin said. “Just like any other concert.”

One sophomore in both in-class and after school jazz band, Xavier Collie, notes that his preparations were different than previous years. During his freshman year, no ISSMA events were held due to COVID-19 restrictions.

This year he had to practice the materials more because of the higher stakes of competition. With most of his scholastic music experience being during middle school, this competition was a new change.

 “Maupin was a lot of guidance, definitely sent me on the right track to get to where we are now,” Collie said.

During the performance, the groups file into a room and perform their three selected pieces to be judged by a panel of three people, who have been certified for ISSMA judging from around the state.

For some, this act is a nerve wracking undertaking, but for junior Cameron Costello, he was confident from start to finish. 

He says that he felt prepared and confident going into the event. He attributed his confidence to Maupin, citing the skill of his teaching skills as to why he was so ready. He also said that the schedule of their performances was a factor of his confidence.

Costello and many other of the jazz band members had ample time to familiarize themselves with the venue. For students participating in both sections, their performances were hours apart. 

“I think that was probably a major factor in our comfortability,” Costello said.

The results of the competition surmounted to gold scores for both groups. The extra-curricular jazz band earned a gold score, and in class jazz band received a perfect score.

 Multiple jazz band members also earned outstanding solo awards for their improvisational solos. Senior Anton Lout, juniors Eli Honey, D.J. Ranieri, Mathew Ritchie, sophomores Xavier Collie and Maddox Hampshire and freshman William Forbes and Aemilia Eckert, were among the students to earn this achievement.

“I think we performed really well as a group,” Collie said. “We did an outstanding job.”