Every year, Lydia Stucki organizes an army – a formidable force of instrument-toting, taxi-driving, light-and-sound-producing volunteers. Every year, over 400 of them will assemble to make the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival a reality.
The 49th annual Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival will be held Feb. 24-27, and Stucki, the volunteer coordinator for the event, said she is still looking for people to fill slots in her massive workforce.
She said there are plenty of reasons to volunteer.
“(Volunteers) get to meet artists and special musicians,” Stucki said. “It looks great on a resume, and it”s fun to do. You get to come hang out with your friends all day.
She also said volunteers get free concert tickets – every four hours of work is equivalent to one ticket, good for the best available fan seating or upgradable to floor seats for $15, Stucki said.
Anyone can volunteer, she said. However, for those wanting to volunteer as drivers, there is a little more paperwork. Stucki said members of the drive team don”t have to have their own car.
She said drive team does three to four hour shifts shuttling musicians to and from airports and to concert halls. With shuttles running 6 a.m. to midnight or later every single night of the week, Stucki said she has a lot of slots to fill.
There are many opportunities to volunteer besides drive team, Stucki said.
“I need site volunteers. I need ushers. I need people to sit at information desks,” Stucki said.
One of these people is UI freshman Samuel Schacher.
Schacher said he has been heavily involved in theater arts and music since middle school. This is Schacher”s eighth year playing the trombone, and that is what first prompted him to volunteer for Jazz Fest.
“Since I was a kid, I came here a bunch of times with bands and stuff playing,” he said.
Schacher said Jazz Fest concerts are some of his fondest memories, and now he”s excited to be a part of the action.
“I want to get in, to do tech-type stuff,” he said.
Schacher said working on light and sound at Jazz Fest will help him greatly in his work on theater productions.
“I just like the behind the scenes things,” Stucki said. “I”d much rather attend an event behind the scenes and get the inside scoop.”
Carly Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org