By Enya Huang
Eight students and recent graduates performed in the choir at the Hollywood Bowl concert “Ray Charles: Genius + Soul = Jazz,” a tribute to the famed musician who specialized in jazz, pop, and country music on July 11.
Liane Capiral ’15, Kyla Rhynes ’14, her sister Karin Rhynes ‘15, Chanell Thomas ’13, Molly Chapman ’14, Laura Edwards ’13, Nadia Dubovitsky ’12 and Karen Kim ’12 sang at the event.
The concert also featured special guests such as Martina McBride, George Duke, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds. The performers sang alongside the internationally acclaimed Count Basie Orchestra.
The night’s program included Charles’ favorites, with songs such as “Georgia,” You Don’t Know Me,” and the musician’s rendition of “America the Beautiful.”
Performing arts teacher Rodger Guerrero and Nina Burtchaell selected the girls to perform, who then auditioned for Fred Martin, an outside musician in charge of the choir at the event. Martin then called musicians back to ask them to join the choir, Thomas said.
Burtchaell and Guerrero each recommended about 15 students, based on who were quick learners and fans of popular music, Burtchaell said.
The musicians had about a month to prepare for the concert, with an average of two rehearsals per week on the weekends.
Martin hosted most of the rehearsals at his house, but a few later practices were held at the community center. The performers gathered at CenterStaging Studio in Burbank on July 10 for a dress rehearsal.
The singers were impressed with the famous names associated with the event.
“We got to perform behind some really talented people and work with some awesome writers,” Thomas said.
Chapman said she also enjoyed “meeting so many legends at such a legendary venue” and sharing the experience with close friends.