Students Swing and Sing

The Senior School’s musicians and vocalists put on a fabulous concert at the Victoria Conservatory of Music this Monday evening, performing jazz, swing, choir and Christmas music for faculty and staff.

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Dressed stylishly in black formal wear, the vocal jazz ensemble was the first to grace the stage, led by Donna Williams for three tunes. The first number was the romantically mournful “I’ll be Seeing You” from 1938, which was followed up with “The Shadow of Your Smile,” a stylish song that has been sung by the likes of Barbara Streisand and Frank Sinatra. “Moondance,” the final piece, featured some soloing and scatting from Curtis Smith, Charlotte McGee, Jake McCloskey and Jayne Hammond.

The swing band played five songs, varying from 1944’s “Sentimental Journey” to the up-tempo “Mambo Jambo,” a Caribbean number that was a big hit at the Junior School last week. In honour of the season, the students also performed a festive rendition of “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire).”

The chamber choir was the next to take the stage, beginning their five-song set with “Vorspruch,” an impressive choral work and following it up with the more sombre “Send in the Clowns.” The choir also performed “Waltzing Matilda,” the song they prepared for the departure of their Australian exchange students last month as well as “Let All the People Praise Thee,” which they sang for the Remembrance Day ceremony.

The evening ended energetically, with Hugh Fraser leading the jazz band in five powerful songs, including one encore. Two of the songs featured solo work from Wonjin Kim, who Mr. Fraser called “one of the best players” he had seen in awhile. From “Little Sunflower,” a slower piece that featured Jayne Hammond as a vocalist to the challenging and fast “Mambo Influenciad,” the performers showed they were more than ready for their concert at the legendary Hermann’s Jazz Club the following evening.

Many of the ensembles will be showcased at the carol service at Christ Church Cathedral tonight at 7:00 pm.

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