23 March 2023 Meet Isabel Huelgas ’25 and the Moonflower Band

Isabel Huelgas ’25 of the student-led jazz group Moonflower reflects on the group’s recent performances on campus and downtown.

Moonflower is a student band with a passion for jazz. This semester, the group has had numerous gigs, including a recent performance at the Dove Block.

The event, which was for the HWS Board of Trustees and faculty members, was a standout performance according to Huelgas. “It was such a fun experience. The best part was to just be able to sing off campus and perform for faculty that we often just see in the classroom,” she says.

Huelgas also says that performing in a new space and with a new microphone set-up changed the sound and dynamics of the show. “Our music was heard throughout the building, which just sounded really cool,” she says.

Moonflower has performed at several locations on campus recently. The group performed in Bartlett Theatre to celebrate the reopening of the newly renovated space. They’ve also played for two opening exhibits at the new Provenzano Gallery, and most recently at an Open House at the President’s House.  

Alongside Huelgas, the students in Moonflower include Will Argueta ’24, Felix Beltre ’23, Ivan Malcolm ’24, Connor Vangellow ’23 and Luke Ward ’26. The musicians met through the campus jazz ensemble, where they comprise one of the rhythm sections.

The HWS Jazz Ensemble, directed by Associate Professor of Music Mark Olivieri, is also central to the ways in which jazz music on campus has been flourishing this semester. The student jazz band, which includes 25 students who rehearse biweekly, are very welcoming to new musicians and jazz-enthusiasts, says Huelgas, who has been a member of the group since her first year at HWS.

In addition to upcoming Moonflower performances downtown, Huelgas encourages students and community members to attend on campus jazz concerts, where she says they can expect to hear “many jazz tunes with awesome solos in between, as well as some rock, R&B, soul, pop and boss novas!”

To the student musicians out there, Huelgas says get involved with the music scene on campus, which has been transformative for her.

“Being a part of jazz ensemble and Moonflower has made me fall in love with performing and singing more than I could have imagined,” she says. “It’s something that’s brought me out of my shell and I believe it can for others as well.”

Moonflower performs at Lake Drum Brewing from 7 - 9:30 p.m. every Thursday. More information on their upcoming gigs can be found on Instagram. 

HWS on instagram