Who thought up this crazy idea called “stage fright”?
Because one would have never known it existed by the way the students of the 32nd Street School and Science Center School JazzReach Choirs strutted out onto the stage, heads held high with huge smiles on their faces, waving to friends and family members in the jam packed Alfred Newman Recital Hall on the campus of USC.
And apparently there’s no such this as “audience fright” either, because proud friends and family members happily waved back to those on stage and held their cameras high in the air to get a snapshot of their favorite performer.
The choirs were a welcome part of the annual JazzReach Winter Concert and were positioned between two jazz ensemble bookends of the James A. Foshay Jazz Ensemble and the Los Angeles Youth Jazz Ensemble.
The lively evening jumped around between a selection of traditional holiday tunes such as the audience participation sing-along’s of “Jingle Bells” and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” to standard jazz selections such as Duke Ellington’s “Harlem Airshaft”. What started as a cold and rainy evening on the outside, quickly transformed into a warm, fast-paced evening of fun and lively music on the inside.
At the conclusion of the evening, Science Center parent Juana Flores noted that her daughter’s first year in the choir has simply been “…a great experience. She really loves it and now wants to sing when she grows up.”
Tenor saxophonist Alec Wigginton’s mother Vicky also had nothing but great things to say about the evening’s concert, as well as what she has seen with her son’s involvement in the Los Angeles Youth Jazz Ensemble. “I am very grateful for the program. Alec seems to have an even greater enthusiasm for the music…it’s at a whole different level.”
The Science Center School JazzReach Choir summed up the evening of music quite nicely with their lyrics of “It don’t mean a thing, all you got to do is sing”…and sing they did, to the delight of all.