The Vocal Jazz Ensemble from Milwaukee School of the Arts opened the concert with an exciting set of jazz pieces, accompanied by piano, drums, trumpet, and guitar. Their set included classics such as "Lady Be Good" as well as brand new pieces by contemporary composers. Each student in the group was given at least one opportunity to improvise a solo, and some of them took a very creative approach by cupping their hands around their mouths to create sounds that resembled brass instruments. Throughout the performance, all of the students looked totally relaxed on the stage; it was clear by their faces and their energy that they were having a blast! Check down below to see a clip from their final piece, "Rockin Jerusalem," a sort of jazz/pop/spiritual fusion piece arranged by Reginald Bowens.
Next, Eleventh Hour, an amazing a cappella group from Kettering Fairmont High School, performed several pop songs. This group, comprised of 8 teenagers, exhibited advanced skill in every aspect of their presentation; the way they emoted while they sang, the way they moved on the stage, and even the polite way they addressed the audience was what you'd expect from seasoned professionals. Their pieces were incredibly well-rehearsed, their arrangements were beautiful, and their performance was high-energy from start to finish.
The final group to perform was VOCES8, a professional vocal jazz group from Great Britain. Their performance included humor in between pieces to complement their fantastic sound, and the audience left feeling wonderful! At one point during the concert, they also turned up the house lights and taught the audience a piece for all of us to sing together. There were hundreds of choral music lovers in perfect harmony with VOCES8! So much fun! Scroll down to hear a clip!
-Juliana Child, Ithaca College '18