Music Corporation brings jazz to life on stage

Jazz Without Elephants wows audience

Music+Corporation+posing+in+their+fancy+attire+to+promote+their+jazz+concert.
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Music Corporation brings jazz to life on stage

Music Corporation posing in their fancy attire to promote their jazz concert.

Music Corporation posing in their fancy attire to promote their jazz concert.

Music Corporation

Music Corporation posing in their fancy attire to promote their jazz concert.

Music Corporation

Music Corporation

Music Corporation posing in their fancy attire to promote their jazz concert.

Jaece Houston, Feature Editor

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     Music Corporation performed this year’s rendition of the annual fall show, Jazz Without Elephants, before an auditorium of students and parents. 

     In choir, elephants are synonymous with choreography. Jazz Without Elephants, as the title suggests, is a jazz concert performed without such choreography each year by Music Corporation, the choir that’s responsible for both this event and for Sing, which is performed in the spring. 

     Central cluster choir students look forward to Music Corporation’s shows each year. The shows are held to a high quality and spark adoration in younger choir students.

     “From last year, I knew I had to be up there on that stage,” junior Shantel Williams said. “I’ve aspired to be a part of this show for a while.”

     The show began with a performance by MC Combo, a professional jazz ensemble brought in for this specific event. As the first act, they set the tone for the rest of the show. The tone was inviting and reminiscent of the roaring 20s.

     Toward the end of MC Combo’s opener, the students, greeted with applause, walked onto the stage and stood in an arc. The audience was introduced to the students as their names were read while they entered the stage.

     Music Corporation began the show strongly with a performance of “All The Cats Join In.” This was an excellent choice for an introductory song as it displayed the choir’s ability to harmonize, even with 20 students singing at once. MC Combo’s trumpet complimented the vocalists throughout this first selection.

     Later in the first half, Music Corporation stood to perform “You Take Me Away,” a bossa nova-inspired song by Carol Welsman. Swaying side to side, the choir broke the somber streak of several previous, less celebratory songs as soloists Becca McKinnon and Allie Mikita filled the auditorium with short and sweet verses.

     The first half ended with “One Day I’ll Fly Away,” arranged by Sam Robeson. This song, famously performed by Nicole Kidman in Baz Lurman’s Moulin Rouge, was rather solemn and held a lot of meaning for its performers.

     “The lyrics to the song are really powerful,” senior Macaela Gross said. “The song’s dense chords are also impactful.”

     Ending the intermission, Evolution, a group of student performers, performed a series of songs featuring several string instruments. The audience returned to their seats and quieted down as Evolution began.

     Breaking the silence of the typical set transition, MC Combo serenaded the audience once again while Evolution packed their things away and Music Corporation finished their final preparations for the second half of the show. After that performance by MC Combo, Music Corporation returned to stage for their second act.

     Music Corporation re-entered with their arms linked and their heads held high to perform “Call Me,” an upbeat song with plenty of solos. It appropriately began the second half of the show as its captivating nature established the reflective tone of the second half.

     “Sinking Soon,” performed by the women of the choir, was a unique piece as it incorporated the use of scat, also known as using vocals to imitate musical instruments. This song’s lyrics detail allegories for what is likely a failing relationship. The use of scat in this performance emphasized its deeper meaning of heartbreak. Performers of this song especially liked it because of its unique execution.

     “All the girls were so excited to do that song,” Williams said. “In the end, it was so cool.”

     The night rounded off with a performance of “Lover Come Back to Me,” arranged by Jennifer Barrs. Rather uniquely, this song had every member sing a solo throughout its duration. Seeming almost random, the soloists were accompanied perfectly by MC Combo’s instrumentation, which aligned with the vibe of the song. Although it may have seemed unusual to have so many solos, each soloist had a great reception from the audience.

     “Everybody gets showcased,” choir director Clorese Porter said. “We wanted to give as many kids as possible the opportunity to have a feature.”

     Music Corporation took a bow while MC Combo continued the “Lover Come Back to Me” instrumental after their performance. The stage emptied for the last time as the audience gave a standing ovation.