Over 30 students from Naperville Central High School’s jazz bands took a trip to Los Angeles, California, to soak up the sun and hone their musical skills.
The group spent five days in L.A., where they played at different jazz venues, like The Catalina, Rusty’s and Grand Central Market.
“It was just very special that our jazz bands got to do this because, like I said, at the Catalina, these prestigious places, people like high schoolers specifically, do not get to play at these places and it was really special just to be in L.A. instead of being at school, like we actually got to go somewhere and travel as a group,” said senior Zoë Comerford.
The trip was also a learning experience, as the students took clinics at UCLA and USC, focusing on jazz techniques and musical improvisation.
“I thought it was a lot more fun to play for people we didn’t know as opposed to playing for family and friends,” said sophomore Michelle Yuan. “Because you always want to have a different point of view, different people giving you feedback and hear some things you haven’t heard before.”
“The thing is our band is one of the few that get to do these clinics with these famous people and play in these famous venues and we are really lucky that we got to arrange that,” said junior David Chen.
When they weren’t playing, the group took in the sights at iconic California spots like the Santa Monica Pier, the Griffith Observatory and the Grammy Museum.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.
*Photos courtesy of Zoë Comerford, Michelle Yuan and David Chen.