American River College’s Jazz Ensemble is currently preparing for their upcoming performance at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) 2015 national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah on Feb. 25. The event will go through Feb. 28.
The ACDA is a music-based organization whose objective is to inspire achievement in choral music while also sponsoring competitions throughout the year that are designed to celebrate the highest level of achievement in choral art.
ARC’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble is the only community college group in the nation that has been selected to perform at the ACDA National Conference this year. This will be their second time performing for this national conference.
In order to be selected, the ensemble had to submit a select few of their CDs and wait two years for confirmation.
ARC will be singing “Open Invitation” by Darmon Meader and Lauren Kinhan, “Never Say Yes” by Nat Adderly, “In a Mellow Tone” by Duke Ellington, “Ruby Baby” by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, “Early Autumn” by Ralph Burns, Woody Herman and Johnny Mercer and “Do You Wanna Know What I Want” by Lauren Kinhan and Eve Nelson.
The ensemble has been practicing daily to improve upon their skills to ensure they give their best performance.
“We’ve had a lot of fun putting in extra rehearsal time for the upcoming conference. It’s a huge honor to perform there, so we need to be at our best!” said Megan Ugarte, a three year veteran singer on the Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
Added Ugarte , “I feel excited for our upcoming trip to Salt Lake City! While there will always be polishing that needs to be done, I feel like we are ready for this wonderful opportunity! I can’t wait to be there and soak up all the success from the other groups!”
Arthur LaPierre, director of the jazz ensemble and jazz choir, has been directing at ARC for 19 years.
“It is always a jumbled knot of sensations whenever we approach this kind of national – actually international – exposure. While the physical reaction might be the same (rapid heartbeat, rapid breathing, diminished hearing capacity), the feeling of nervousness is often times confused with excitement, anticipation, awe and a desire to not only sing the best we can but to revel in the knowledge that we are sharing the stage with some of the best collegiate vocal jazz ensembles in the nation,” said LaPierre.
For those looking for more information on ARC’s jazz ensemble and their discography, visit their website or facebook account at https://ic.arc.losrios.edu/~vocaljazz/index.html.