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Odessa College's jazz band creates a virtual final performance because of COVID-19

"They’re really learning some unique things through this process that I’m not sure they would learn if we had been meeting normally," Eric Baker, OC Chair said.

ODESSA, Texas — UPDATE on July 8: The college's final performance is now online and available to watch.

Bands are meant to jam out. 

How do you have solo rehearsal at home?

Eric Baker, the OC Chair of Visual and Performing Arts said silencing their symphony of sound wasn't going to happen. 

"Simply laying down the instruments and calling off the musical season so to speak and saying, well I'll just see you all in the fall was not really an option," Baker said.  

Baker is finding a way to combine the individual sounds of 16 jazz band students, each playing the song individually, but together. 

"I've participated in some myself as a musician, where I play my trumpet and then somebody else combines it with other people and you get a very nice effect," Baker said. 

Rehearsals have been by section - rhythm, saxophones and brass players since after spring break. 

"I can't hear them all play at the same time, but I can hear them play individually, and then I can play reference music that they can play along to, kind of like educational karaoke or something," Baker said. 

For this final figured melody, graded, each student submitted one take of their full musical part.

"They're starting to get a taste of what it's like to be a professional musician," Baker said. 

And while everything is uncertain and the world a bit gloomy, one thing is for sure...

"Students need that creative outlet to cope with very difficult situations," Baker said. 

And music heals what's hurt. 


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