Jamboree Jitters

Jackie Collver, Writer

My legs were weak and shook a little when I stepped down the hill between the science wing and the gym last Thursday. I was nervous. I thought that night would be the end of my life.  


I was stressed out beyond relief about performing the song I wrote, and my terror kept growing. There were a lot of musicians at the jamboree, which didn’t help my stress levels at all. We’re talking about the Helena High-famous band Spank, among other awesome musicians like Ben Medina-Caplis and Evan Wright, as well as tons of other amazing singers and songwriters from HHS. All these people are so nice and supportive, but they’re also kind of intimidating.   


Like, really intimidating.  


So I waddled on stage after the amazing Lucy Lantz, and somehow, I made a joke about grass stains on my butt, which, thankfully, people laughed at.  


And then I started to play.  


The actual performance was not nearly as terrible as I had convinced myself it would be. I wasn’t even that nervous because I knew how supportive the crowd was. Also, I had my lovely friends cheering me on. At least, I assume they cheered me on – I was desperately staring at the concrete while I tried to “get in the zone,” so I couldn’t see them too well.  


I’m biased, but I think I did okay, especially for my first time performing in front of a crowd.  


At the end of my song, I wrapped the cable connecting Medina-Caplis’s guitar to the amp around the stool. Luckily, he saw in time and saved me from a face-plant on the concrete in front of a bunch of people. Crisis averted!  


Other than that mini heart attack, it was a ton of fun! 


I felt so confident up on the little clearing that served as a stage in front of all those people. The realization that a bunch of eyes were on me wasn’t so terrifying after all!  


Of course, I couldn’t have done it without my friends and Medina-Caplis, who was kind enough to lend me his guitar.  


It was so much fun to be outside. The first jamboree, which took place on the 20th of May, had to be held in the Little Theater because it snowed. To say the least, the acoustics in that room aren’t the best, and the space isn’t suited for bands to play, like Blinded and Spank.  


At the most recent jamboree, the outdoor environment was relaxed and gave people the ability to stretch out on the grass with their families and friends. In the well, little Little Theater, people didn’t get that opportunity. 


I also think the birds chirping gave it a summer music festival feeling. The whole thing reminded me of Alive at 5, an event on Wednesday nights over the summer that features bands and, best of all, food trucks.  


It was so much fun, and Ms. Steele is the absolute best for putting it on.  


Next school year, when the jamboree happens again, be sure to attend, or gather up your courage to perform! Not only will you meet and reconnect with great people, but you will also hear amazing music and listen to voices that you have never heard before.