There was a special surprise in downtown Quesnel early Thursday afternoon as jazz erupted from Spirit Square.
The Correlieu Jazz Band put on their last school year performance before a relatively large audience bringing a range of eclectic influences.
“It was sort of a bit of a last-minute thing,” said Correlieu Secondary School music teacher Shawn Smith.
“We just decided a few days ago and booked the buses and kept checking the weather, and the weather held out, which was great.”
Smith called it a great way to end the year.
The last song performed paid tribute to bassist Hannah Carlson and drummer Luke Dykhuizen who will be receiving their high school diplomas.
Carlson will be attending the College of New Caledonia in Quesnel for nursing.
“I think music will always be a part of my life,” Carlson said. “I will probably never stop playing because it is such a great hobby.”
Dykhuizen, meanwhile, will be attending the University of Northern British Columbia for possible teaching studies.
Both agreed they had grown close with the other jazz rhythmists over their time with the Correlieu Jazz Band, who have become almost like family.
“It’s tough,” Dykhuizen said of leaving.
Smith said while the Correlieu Jazz Band did not get to do performances for most of the year due to COVID-19, the students still worked really hard.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Smith added. “The fact they hung in there, and they showed up ready to play even before I’d get there, and they’d get together and make music at lunch — they’re an awesome group of students.”
The Correlieu Jazz Band’s next performance is scheduled for the last Quesnel Farmers’ Market of the season in mid-October.
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