Nothing Blue about Blues Band!


Abby Thomas '23, Odds & Ends Editor

The annual fall Blues Band concert took place on November 22, the Friday before Thanksgiving break. It was an extremely successful event, filled with joy, laughter, and superb music! 

Blues Band director Peter Valera shared that his favorite part about Blues Band is “sharing the joy of music with the St. Luke’s community.” He also said, “This year particularly felt really good for me. I felt like everybody knew the stuff, and it took on a life of its own.” 

Even retired St. Luke’s band director Robert Leinbach came back to the Hilltop to perform “A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On” and brought his iconic squirrel mask with him!

The band put on an amazing show with 21 sensational songs. The set list contained pop, rock, alternative, and R&B songs, and included stellar performances from Upper Schoolers Allie Vogel ‘20 and Sarah Bryant ‘20, as well as from thirty additional students, from both the Upper and Middle Schools. Participating in the event allows students to showcase their talents while experiencing different music genres. 

Bryant said that her favorite thing about Blues Band is “the connections you make with people” and getting to “witness the enthusiasm of the student body.” She added, “As a singer, Blues Band has helped me discover my sound.” 

Bryant then shared her fondest memory, which took place “during this year’s show, during the last song of the set”: “All the seniors were getting emotional knowing this was our last show, but we were all connected in our shared experiences and friendship. I knew none of us would ever forget that moment.” 

Vogel stated that “you have people from all across the school, starting with sixth grades to seniors … it’s a good environment with different personalities.” She marveled that “it’s definitely an experience you’re not gonna find at another school.”

Another thing that brings Blues Band to life is the enthusiastic audience. Cessa Lewis ‘23 said, “It’s one of my favorite days at St. Luke’s. I love that the teachers … are jamming out on stage.” She also said,  “[The concert] becomes this hour where I completely forget about reality,” explaining that “it’s like a family. We’re all in this together.” 

 A special moment that many people find the most memorable is whenever the audience runs down to the front of the stage.

  Faculty member Jim Foley shared a question that he asks people from other schools: “If there was one day out of the entire school year that you would refuse to miss, for a sick day or a visit to a family member or something like that, what’s the one day that you would refuse to miss? … [F]or me it’s always been Blues Band day.”  `

The community and environment, as Vogel puts it, “makes it the event of the season.” 

I was in Blues Band this year, and it was definitely one of the best experiences I’ve ever been a part of. I made long-lasting friendships with people I wouldn’t usually get the opportunity to know. 

I’ve never really had the confidence to get up in front of a lot of people and sing, but the support everyone offers, from both on stage and in the audience, diminishes all of those nerves. 

Mr. Foly said it perfectly: “I’m really happy to be a part of a school that has a Blues Band.”

Watch the full concert here!