Advanced Jazz Ensemble seeks new talent at auditions


American River College students participate in an audition for advanced vocal jazz ensemble. The concert will open on Nov. 4. (Photo by Jose Garcia)

Jose Garcia and Paul Xayphone

Arthur Lapierre, the vocal jazz ensemble director, held auditions for American River College’s advanced vocal jazz ensemble to seek students with an enthusiastic sound for their upcoming performances.

Auditions for the advanced jazz ensemble were held Friday, Aug. 25 in the music department for a concert that will open on Nov. 4.

“You have to work hard to be on the jazz ensemble, that’s the negative,” said Arthur Lapierre, the director of the jazz ensemble. “The positive is that you will have the skills to hang at a big school.”

Students were given a week to prepare for the audition.

Everyone auditioning had to sing in four-part harmony to a song titled “There Ain’t Nobody Here But Us Chickens.”

Students who are selected are expected to make a two semester commitment.

Colin Ingraham auditioned for the part of tenor in the ensemble.

“I’m immersed in music this semester because it’s my passion and I’m pursuing it now,” said Ingraham.

The audition not only drew the attention of students with a passion for singing, but also attracted a professional singer.

Beth Duncan, a professional singer from Sacramento who has been a recording artist for over 30 years and has been focusing on jazz exclusively for 15 years.

“I was nervous while auditioning. You’d be a fool not to be in a competitive situation like that,” said Duncan.

Julia Merris-Miche, a student who sang on the beginning jazz ensemble for a year and a half, said she auditioned so she could show the progress she’s made over the last year.

“I was nervous going into it but I had the upperhand, because I knew what the audition piece was going to be, and I spent two weeks before school started getting familiar with the piece,” said Miche.

Auditions are usually held in the fall semester for an entire year, but students who want to join the jazz ensemble are welcome to talk to Lapierre about joining the ensemble.

“I would like to work with any student at ARC who loves to sing. Come on by and sing in our award winning ensemble!” said Lapierre.