Jazz Choir takes the stage


At their performance on March 10, Joey Na and Angie Villareal sing a duet as part of their act. Jazz Choir held a concert along with students from Iowa at the Downey High Theater.

For the first time ever, Jazz Choir put on a show of their own along with special guests from Southwestern University in Creston, Iowa on Mar. 10. The night started off with a few performances by the Jazz Combo, as they warmed up the small audience for the main events of the night. Soon enough, Jazz Choir joined them on the stage and introductions were made, revealing that although it was most students’ first year in choir, there was still a few among them who had been in choir for up to three years.

“I think it’s a privilege being in Jazz Choir,” senior Michelle Vergara said. “I’ve learned so much and made so many new friends; I love it.

Backed up by the combo, Jazz Choir began their set with “My Romance” which included a sax solo by Dany Atallah and a skat solo by third year member Jonathan Arenas, who also had a skat solo in the following piece, “My Little Sunflower.”

“Skat gives you a chance to express your own feelings instead of just having to follow music that’s on paper,” senior Jonathan Arenas said. “It’s something that’s coming from you, personally.”

Second year member Samantha Reising then took the microphone in “September Song,” which was performed a cappella, without the combo. For their final piece, the choir sang “You Don’t Love Me Like You Used to Do,” which featured several solos, including a beat box solo by Joey Na.

The Jazz Choir took a bow and then handed off the stage to the guest group from Creston.

“I was pretty excited to get to open for them because we rarely get to play with professional groups here,” sophomore Samantha Reising said. “They’re really good and there’s just so much talent here tonight.”

Director of the group, Jason Smith, led the choir of about eight students through a set of ten songs in which the audience participated through interactive clapping. Apart from singing upbeat jazz songs, two students from Southwestern added something different to the show and also performed the classical piece “Dulcinea” from “Don Quixote. Wrapping up the night, the guest group finished with their final song “What is Hip.”

After the show, the two groups congratulated one another on the success of their performance and then went off to celebrate at BJ’s. Being the first of several Jazz Choir concerts, Thursday night’s performance gave both the audience and choir a chance to dip their feet in the water and get a feel of the music before the upcoming shows, which are sure to be even more of a success than the first round.