Jazz groups, choirs to play in Europe, New York

Kristen Gourrier

The students in Jazz Band and Studio Jazz Band as well as the Chamber Singers, Bel Canto and Wolverine Chorus are all preparing for their upcoming trips to Italy, New York City and London.

The five groups will be performing in a variety of venues including clubs and cathedrals as well as touring around the cities and participating in high school level music competitions.

Jazz Band, Studio Jazz Band and small ensemble performers played at a send-off performance for their trip to Italy at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood Tuesday, March 18.

The students played in the club as a part of the Young Artist Jazz Series, a program that allows local young jazz artists to showcase their talents.

The performance was the group’s final concert before they leave for their Italy trip.

While in Italy, the members of the Jazz Band and Studio Jazz Band will perform in clubs and fancy venues in Rome, Florence and Perugia.

A total of 34 students, performing arts teacher Shawn Costantino, middle school performing arts teacher Starr Wayne and athletic trainer Milo Sini will leave for Italy tomorrow, Thursday, March 20, and will return Saturday, March 29.

“I am most excited to discover Italy, eat some pasta, play jazz every day and listen to good music,” jazz student Ryan Lee ’15 said.

The students plan to play a variety of jazz pieces including “5-5-7” by Pat Metheny, “On Green Dolphin Street” by Bronisław Kaper, “Chill Factor” by Gregory Yasinitsky and “Jordu” by Duke Jordan.

The group will be accompanied by a tour guide, who will show them around the cities they will be visiting.

The choral students will also be having performances out of state.

During spring break, the Chamber Singers and Wolverine Chorus will tour New York City.

While in New York City, they will also be competing in the Heritage Choral Festival Competition.

The Bel Canto choir will also be performing in London and Cambridge over the break.

“Getting all the kids to the airport on time, ticketed, through security and onto the plane is the hardest part,  I usually breathe a huge sigh of relief when the plane takes off,” performing arts teacher Rodger Guerrero said.

The Chamber Singers and the Wolverine Chorus will perform at the Heritage Choral Festival Competition as well at a service performance at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine and a vocal clinic at the Manhattan School of Music.

The students will also see the musical “The Book of Mormon” on Broadway,  and they will take a tour of Yankee Stadium.

“I am excited to compete in New York and really rise to the challenge as a team,” Chamber Singer Sophia Lopez ’14 said. “We have had a great year in Chamber Singers, and hopefully we will keep improving to be the best choir we can be while having fun.”

In London, Bel Canto will compete in an international choir festival.

The students will be presenting their musical pieces at several historic venues including  the Ely Cathedral Lady Chapel and Westminster Abbey.

The group will also have the opportunity to tour the British Museum, the royal apartments in the Windsor Castle and a number of theatres around London.

The students will also visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and attend a concert in London’s West End.

They will also sing in the memorial chapel of the Maddingly World War II Cemetery.

“I am excited to be able to sing in a different environment,” Bel Canto singer Kristen Lynem-Wilson ’15 said. “I have never been to London and we have a lot of free time to explore, which will be a good bonding experience for our choir.”

The Chamber Singers and Wolverine Chorus trip to New York will take place the first week of spring break. The Bel Canto trip to London will take place during the second week of spring break.

The students on the trip will be led and chaperoned by Guerrero, choral accompanist Sara Shakliyan and human resources director Marty Greco.