Feature Friday: A bass clarinet for Jesus

Jackie Garba, a bass clarinet player and member of Cru, mentions her excitement to play in concert here at the college on Dec. 5. Photo by Aaron Switzer, The Campus Ledger

Caleb Latas

Staff reporter


“I taught myself the ‘Veggietales’ theme, it starts with that tuba part bomp-bomp-bomp-bomp, and you know tuba parts translate nicely to clarinet.”

The “Veggietales” theme song on bass clarinet is the epitome of Jackie Garba, a bass clarinet wielding, disciple of God and Christ. “Veggietales” is a Christian children’s show featuring talking vegetables, who teach Christian morals through song.

The second half to her learning the “Veggietales” theme song, besides it being a fun children’s song, rest in the Christian-moral aspect.


On campus, there is a christian ministry called Cru. Garba has been a member of Cru since her sophomore year, she is now an affiliate staff and student leader.

“[Cru] is a caring community passionate about connecting people with Jesus Christ,” says Garba. “We have bible studies and things throughout the semester, every week we have weekly meetings. We do events, little outreach type stuff.”

Through Cru, Garba says she has traveled to Denver, to fall retreats, Panama City Beach, Florida, and her favorite of all — Walt Disney World. One of the reason’s Garba loved Disney World so much was because of her job while she was there.

“I sold Dole Whip, it’s like pineapple ice cream and it tastes like angel tears,” says Garba.

A Christian Upbringing, in Music

Garba’s love for Christ and music are not new found affections, but rather they are passions that have been fostered.

“I was raised in a Christian household,” says Garba. “I was born and raised in this area, I’ve always lived in Overland Park. I went to Shawnee Mission South, that was like five years ago — it’s becoming irrelevant. I’ve been in the [school band] every year. We [the college’s Concert Band and Jazz Ensemble] have a concert Dec. 5.”

Just as Garba was born into a Christian household, she was nearly born into music as well.

“I started playing music in fourth grade when I picked up the violin,” says Garba. “And I picked up the clarinet in fifth grade and played both for a couple years. In middle school, you only have a certain number of electives you can take, and I wanted to do music but also other things so I chose the clarinet over the violin. Junior [year] in high school, we didn’t have a bass clarinet so I picked that up and I haven’t put it down yet; and I don’t intend to.”

Garba has found other outlets for her bass clarinet, outside of school ensembles. Through some of these outlets Garba has found a way to once again merge her passions of music, and Christ.

“I’ve [played in], mostly school ensembles, I did play in the Overland Park Civic Band, which is a volunteer band,” says Garba. “My church [along with UPWARD] has a pep band, so we play at some basketball games, so I play the bass clarinet in that.”

Christ, and the bass clarinet, aren’t Garba’s only affections, or her only passions that intersect on a venn diagram.

A Passionate Person

“I love people,” says Garba. “Where people are, there I am. And I like music. I love Cru. And I love my church.”

This love of music and people come together in Garba’s goal of working as music therapist.

“I had applied for [a] music therapy program, but then you have to audition to get into the school of music for that,” says Garba. “I didn’t make it on the clarinet, I was told I couldn’t audition on the bass clarinet, like I would have. But clarinet music is a lot more difficult.”

Though Garba didn’t make it into the program, that has not stopped her. Garba will continue to play music, and help connect people with Christ; and possibly do both at the same time.


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