Band Instructors Reflect on Annual Big Band Dance


Westside’s annual jazz festival, the Big Band Dance, recently took place on Saturday, May 11. Many Westside students performed, both as soloists and as ensembles. The students involved ranged from elementary school band students to students in the top jazz band at the high school. Both band directors, Thomas Krueger and Timothy Rischling, said that they felt that the event was a success.

“I thought it was a really good event for us this year,” Rischling said. “A lot of bands performed from all around the district and I thought we had a really good crowd for the event, too. A lot of ticket sales, concessions sales and raffles were sold, too.”

Many soloists performed, including junior Chad Fey, who plays percussion.

“I tried some new things this time around so it was definitely a new experience for me but it’s something that I’ve been doing for quite a while,” Fey said. “Just being able to keep performing and keep growing is a big part of that.”

According to both Rischling and Krueger, this year’s band dance had a very good turnout.

“I thought it went really well,” Krueger said. “We had a good number of students there as well as their family members. [We also] had a lot of students on the dance floor [who were] hanging out and dancing to music all night.”

Fey said he believes that all six ensembles had a successful performance.

“I think all of our bands did a pretty good job from the elementary school level to our top jazz bands here,” Fey said. “There was definitely a scale of growth in it.”

Rischling and Krueger shared similar opinions with Fey and said they felt that this was one of their best performances of the year.

“Some of the songs we did our best, and some of the songs we made the same mistakes we usually do,” Rischling said. “But I thought we [played] our best for the end of the year.”