By Sarah Stortz
Smooth jazz resonated throughout the Carver-Hawkeye Monday evening as several musicians from the University of Iowa School of Music joined together to present the 49th-annual Band Extravaganza.
The concert began with the UI Symphony Band and Johnson County Landmark playing a compilation of music. Intentionally appealing to multigenerational Hawkeyes, the groups performed a wide variety of music, such as the Symphony Band playing classical pieces to the Johnson County Landmark covering artists ranging from Justin Timberlake to the Beatles.
UI Master’s student Toni LeFebvre, a trumpet player for Johnson County Landmark, said she looks forward to Band Extravaganza due to all of the exposure the band receives.
“For a lot of the students, even the adults in the audience, this is probably one of the only times they hear a jazz performance this year,” LeFebvre said. “I think we put on a good show for them.”
UI doctoral student Jordan Boehm, another trumpet player for Johnson County Landmark, said he enjoys the casual vibe the concert had.
“The informality of it is definitely a benefit,” he said. “It really breaks down the barrier between performer and audience a little bit, so everyone gets to enjoy the music without thinking they have to sit down quietly and listen.”
With no football player in sight, the Hawkeye Marching Band later took center stage, performing its best work from the 2017 season. The band was complemented with UI Drum Major Analisa Iole and UI Golden Girl Kylene Spanbauer.
Spanbauer said she sees the event as a means to challenge herself while performing her routine.
“It’s kind of neat because when we’re in Carver, I have a little bit more ceiling height, a little bit more space to perform,” Spanbauer said. “When I prep for the Band Extravaganza versus a half-time routine, I get to do harder things. I try to come up routines and tricks that are harder and are more crowd pleasers.”
UI sophomore Emily Bruss, who plays the trombone, is in her second year of the Hawkeye Marching Band. Bruss said her musical skills immediately prospered after joining the band.
“As a musician, my sight-reading skills have developed tremendously,” Bruss said. “Before joining [the Hawkeye Marching Band], I had a very difficult time reading through music, even after several rehearsals. But during Marching Band season, we have limited time between games to rehearse our music, so musicians learn how to sight-read more efficiently and always give their best effort so we can spend the rest of our rehearsal time cleaning marching drills.”
With football season coming to an end in a few weeks, Bruss said, she will miss the “rush and magic” of Kinnick Stadium.
“There is nothing quite like running onto the field under the lights with 70,000 people cheering,” she said. “As we play tunes in the stands, you can feel the energy among band members as they scream, and cheer, and play with all their might.”
Bruss is especially reminiscent of the aftermath of a game.
“At the end of each game, whether the Hawkeyes win or lose, singing the ‘Alma Mater’ all together gives me a sense of peace after watching every moment of a good, long fight by our boys,” Bruss said. “It’s magic. That’s the best word I can use to describe it.”