Jazz Band

COVID Challenges Jazz Band to Improvise

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by Brianna Coffey, Student Public Relations Writer

Jazz Band

Even though they haven’t been able to play in Cedarville University’s chapel because of the coronavirus pandemic, the university jazz band, true to its musical roots, has decided to improvise. 

With improving data on the pandemic, the jazz band can now perform in Jeremiah Chapel, which it will do on Friday, March 19, at 7 p.m. The concert is open to the public and free of charge. Protocols for social distancing and masking are still in place due to COVID-19 guidelines. 

In a pre-COVID world, the jazz band led worship in chapel once a semester. “Since we didn’t have that opportunity this year to lead chapel worship, we decided to do a worship night,” said Dr. Chet Jenkins, assistant professor of music and director of the wind symphony and jazz band.

"The performance will feature congregational worship designed to fit the unique design of the jazz band," he added.

“I’m excited about the upcoming concert because we haven’t been able to do jazz chapels this year,” said Caroline Tomlinson, a junior professional writing and information design major from Cincinnati, Ohio, who has been involved in jazz band since the beginning of her sophomore year. “I love jazz and I love worship, so combining the two is just my favorite.” 

Elizabeth McAlester, a senior music education major from San Antonio, Texas, will be featured as a soloist. She has been singing jazz since her sophomore year.

“Being part of the jazz band has allowed me a singing outlet that has encouraged me to finish my last semester at Cedarville strong,” McAlester said. “I also don't have the opportunity to attend chapel because of my student teaching, and this worship jazz concert is allowing me the opportunity to praise God with the student body again, something I've been sorely missing.”

Getting to interact with the band and fellow singers has been a highlight of McAlester’s college experience. “Being part of this group has been one of the most rewarding opportunities during my Cedarville career and I am so grateful to get to sing with them,” she said. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,550 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including its Bachelor of Arts in Music Program,  strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.