Shining the Spotlight on Blues Band

Catherine Steele '23, Staff Writer

Blues Band is one of the many unique opportunities offered at St. Luke’s. Led by the amazing Upper and Middle School Music Teachers, Mr. Valera and Ms. Lauer, the concert is a demonstration of St Luke’s tight-knight community. It provides students and faculty with both a platform to showcase their talents and an incredible performance to enjoy.

Blues Band incorporates several instruments, from the saxophone to the flute, and songs of various genres, from viral pop sensation “As It Was” by Harry Styles to ‘60s hit “Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix. It is an annual event that audience members and performers alike anticipate with excitement. Head of Upper School Mrs. Perry said, “I always love to see the same performers year after year grow in skill and confidence”, and participant, Justin Higgins 23’ said, “Being a part of Blues Band was really amazing.”

More than just a concert, Blues Band serves as an agent of unification. The tradition’s vibrant atmosphere cultivates a strong sense of community and support that extends beyond the stage. Vocalist Abby Thomas, 23’ said, “Blues Band brings light and love to the school.” An anonymous student said Blues Band “makes school so much more fun.”

In addition to bringing joy, Blues Band has a positive impact on those involved, which is evident even from the audience’s perspective. Ryan Whitman ‘24 said, “The band seems to have such an amazing sense of community and friendship. Everyone on stage smiles and dances. They seem so supportive of each other.” This rings true.

Thanks to the supportive environment, participants feel comfortable going outside their comfort zones. As vocalist MJ Owens ‘24 said, Blues Band “helped build my confidence.” Drummer Sam Thomas 26’ said that Blues Band is a way in which he can “destress” and for several other students, myself included, the Blues Band experience has fostered many new friendships.

The concert’s yearly success is both a display of talent and a reflection of the participants’ hard work. Those involved dedicate many hours to perfecting their music and stage presence. In the weeks leading up to the concert, Blues Band members spent over two hours daily rehearsing in the Selden Performing Arts Center. Their efforts clearly paid off.

Despite the unexpected fire alarm-induced intermission, the 2022 Blues Band concert knocked it out of the park. Per usual, the audience left the show with anticipation for the next performance. Ava Weneck, 24′ said that she “came out of Blues Band with an excitement for next year’s performance.”

As a senior who participated in this past Blues Band for the first time, my only regret is not doing it sooner. I encourage anyone interested to take advantage of this amazing experience!