by Kelly Rogge
“The Standard” Vocal Jazz Ensemble from Kansas City Kansas Community College recently returned from a trip to New York where they performed in the New York City Jazz Festival.
The group was selected by audition to perform in the festival, sponsored by Manhattan Concert Productions, April 11 to 13. The ensemble had two performances:
· “The Standard” performed in a concert session with other high school and college vocal jazz ensembles from six states (Colorado, New York, North Carolina, Kansas, California and Indiana). The performance was in The Appel Room at Jazz At The Lincoln Center, and the KCKCC group was the only ensemble to receive a standing ovation at the first concert session.
· The second performance was also at Lincoln Center in the Rose Theater (where Wynton Marilis plays). All of the vocal jazz ensembles combined to make a 100 person mass jazz choir that performed for more than 1,000 patrons. Student Laquita English, an Audio Engineering major, auditioned and performed a solo with the mass choir on an arrangement of Paul Simon’s “Bridge Over Troubled Water.”
During the weekend, KCKCC students were in rehearsals for more than eight hours, visited venues such as the Rockefeller Center and the Juilliard School of Music and attended clinics by nationally known vocal jazz educators including Steve Zegree (Indiana University), Ly Wilder (Indiana University) and Duane Davis (Western Michigan University).
Students on the KCKCC “The Standard” Vocal Jazz Ensemble Roster are Lauren Irving, soprano 1, Wyandotte High School; Allison Her, soprano 1, Washington High School; Stormy Rhone, soprano 2, Sumner Academy; Shelby Stephenson, alto 1, Turner High School; Andrea Rodriguez, alto 1, Shawnee Mission Northwest High School; Morgan Tinsley, alto 2, Bonner Springs High School; Natalie Bennett, alto 2/tenor, Maranatha Academy; Laquita English, tenor, Wyandotte High School; Deandre Clark, tenor, Washington High School and Andrew Roberson, bass, Schlagle High School.
Rhythm Section members include Joyce Steeby, piano and KCKCC adjunct music faculty; Jamie Anderson, guitar, Shawnee Mission North High School; Trey Green, bass, Shawnee Mission North High School; Rex Hancock, drums, Tonganoxie High School and John Stafford II, director and KCKCC assistant professor of choral music.
For more information on the vocal jazz program at KCKCC, contact John Stafford at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 913-288-7137.