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The Harborfields High School Jazz Band under the direction of Music Department Coordinator Dan Bilawsky, traveled to New Orleans, LA for a four-day trip on March 9 to perform at Loyola University’s Jazz Festival and dockside at the Steamboat Natchez, while also exploring the Crescent City.
The trip allowed the students to discover New Orleans culture, history and music as the band traveled to sites such as Preservation Hall, the National WWII Museum, the Old U.S. Mint, Jackson Square and the French Quarter.
At Loyola University, the band performed two sets, receiving “Superior” rankings for both shows at the festival. This resulted in marking the group as one of the top performing bands.
Both performances were given “Outstanding Band” status and the trombone and trumpet sections were each awarded “Outstanding Section” awards, as two of only six sections acknowledged out of approximately 100 sections there.
Junior Jay Best and senior Hannah Bartfield were both offered scholarships to attend Loyola’s summer jazz camp, as two of only 11 students awarded out of more than 350 students at the festival. In addition, nearly a third of the band was recognized for outstanding soloing and musicianship.
“The students carried themselves with pride and performed with distinction during this trip,” said Bilawsky. “I couldn’t have asked for or imagined anything more.”