American River College’s vocal jazz ensemble is preparing for a concert on campus which is gearing them up for the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival.
Along with preparing for the festival the jazz ensemble will also be recording their yearly CD, which includes all the songs they have covered over the year and will be sold at the campus bookstore.
“This is the 11th year we’ve done the CD. We start recording in about two weeks,” said professor Arthur LaPierre, the director of the jazz ensemble.
“This is the third year that ARC has been selected to perform at the festival,” LaPierre said.
The vocal jazz ensemble, also known as VJ1, is made up of eight people and requires an audition process. There is also a jazz choir known as VJ2, that is made up of 15 people, but no audition is required.
Along with the singing from the ensemble, “Rick Lotter plays the drums and Matt Robinson plays the bass” said Gabe Catabran, a member of VJ1.
The jazz team usually rehearses about eight to 16 hours a week, sometimes without their director, so that they can gain insight from each other.
On Feb. 11, the California All-State Music Education Conference (CASMEC) was held in San Jose for college ensembles all over California, but ARC was only one of two community colleges to attend the conference.
The conference is usually only for classical ensembles but “It was the first time they combined jazz,” said Catabran.
“Even though we haven’t performed it yet, ‘Groovin’ Hard’ is my favorite piece to cover,” said VJ1 alto member Jenna Magaziner.
The vocal jazz ensemble will be performing March 16 at 8 pm at ARC theater and the tickets are $10.