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Midvale Journal

Hillcrest High's Big Band Ball Returns for Second Year

May 02, 2019 02:04PM ● By Julie Slama

Hillcrest High School’s jazz band, seen here performing at Disney’s California Adventure, will put on their second annual big band ball May 24. (Kosha Hansen/Hillcrest High)

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

“The way you look tonight” — will be perfect for Hillcrest High’s Big Band Ball.

The school’s second annual Big Band Ball will begin at 6 p.m., Friday, May 24, with the school’s jazz band performing four sets of music, allowing for three hours of dancing.

Tickets are available at the door. Singles are $10 and couples, $15. The event will be in the STEM building atrium, on the north edge of campus, 7350 S. 900 East in Midvale.

“This night is fast becoming a fun, community event, one which we hope becomes a Hillcrest tradition,” said Hillcrest band director Austin Hilla, who added the fundraiser’s proceeds will be used for purchase and to maintain instruments and supplies.

The goal is to both provide entertainment for the community and in the process, raise about $5,000, he said.

The 17-member big band will feature pop, Latin, ballads, classic 1940s and other styles of music. Last year, about 80 people danced the night away.

“We plan to feature café lights with a dance floor, making it fun and inviting,” band vice president and senior Amelia Slama-Catron said. “We will have tables on the second floor for those who want to take a break, have an appetizer, and listen to the music. Through performing in our jazz band, I have gained a greater appreciation for jazz and all kinds of music. We want to make this a fun experience and to help increase the appreciation for jazz.”

This year’s theme was inspired by the 1961 hit song by Frank Sinatra, “The Way You Look Tonight.”

The past two years, Hillcrest’s jazz band has performed at region and state, earning superior and excellent marks from judges across the United States.

As of press time, the line-up was being finalized for the night, which also may feature a jazz combo and a jazz quartet.

“This year, we have more music with a greater variety to offer to our community,” said big band president and senior Colby Eldridge, who plans to pursue studying music in college. “We’ve really been working on the music all year and this is the night where we’re excited to share it.”

Hillcrest’s jazz band, as well as the school’s wind ensemble, recently returned from their California tour, where both groups performed at Disneyland’s California Adventure. They also played in a recording session for Disney. 

Wind ensemble was scheduled to compete at region April 17. State is May 3.

Percussion president and senior Aidan Smith, who also plans to study music at college, said that experience helped to prepare them for their Big Band Ball.

“People were really receptive to us,” he said. “Jazz is more than elevator music. We’re playing at our top level and the Big Band Ball is something we look forward to. It gives us a night to share it.”