Cooper's Jazz Band I takes home top honors at Jazz in the Meadows

February 27, 2024

Topic: Updates

A group of students poses with a trophy that they won during the Jazz in the Meadows festival in Rolling Meadows

Members of Cooper’s Jazz Band I stand with the trophy they received for winning the middle school level of Jazz in the Meadows on Feb. 24.


Cooper Middle School’s Jazz Band I took home top honors from the 39th Annual Jazz in the Meadows festival, which was held on Feb. 24 at Rolling Meadows High School.

The band placed first in the middle school division, which saw 14 other programs – including those at Holmes and London Middle Schools – also perform. Eighth graders Daniel P. and Jonah S. also received recognition from the judges as outstanding soloists.

“Performing great at Jazz in the Meadows is a big goal for our jazz group,” said Cindy Severino, co-band director at Cooper. “We have a huge reputation of doing well at this festival and winning numerous times, so adding this win feels really good.”

Severino also expressed her pride in the students for their hard work, commitment and dedication to learn the style of jazz and play it well: “The students were very excited to win. All the hard work paid off.”

That work included two early mornings at 7 a.m. and one day after school, collaborations with guest clinicians, and participation in the Buffalo Grove Jazz Festival, where a well-known jazz artist worked with the Cobras to “take them to the next level.”

“The students were well prepared, but still nervous because they wanted to do well,” Severino added.

The festival also features a number of high school groups, as well as a jazz orchestra section and combo groups. While the middle school level does not vary from that of its high school equivalent, it is more competitive at the higher level as the winners from each class then compete for the Grand Champion award. Severino noted that the real benefit is that it helps students prepare for the high school jazz groups.

Jazz in the Meadows marks the high point for the group, which will move on to perform its concert and other performances including a tour of the elementary schools and honors night. For the Cooper music program itself, the focus now shifts toward preparing for concert band festivals in March and April.