Review: Honors Choir & Jazz Band Concert

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On Dec. 5 the Honors Jazz Band and Honors Choir took their place on the Pfleeger stage to perform a series of Christmas songs and classic tunes.  

The ensembles were making their debut on the Pfleeger stage and performed songs by Pentatonix, Sara Bareilles, Frank Sinatra and Joe Garland.

The Jazz Band, conducted by senior chemical engineering major Harry Hawkins who has been involved in the group since his sophomore year, had an array of playful jazz music filled with opportunities for members of the ensemble to solo and showcase individual talent. A highlight of the jazz section of the concert was a performance by Ben Muska in “Come Fly with Me.”

The Sinatra hit was sung perfectly by Muska and the audience seemed to agree. The saxophone player had the audience in the palm of his hand through his near perfect impersonation of Frank and his killer original dance moves.

In addition to the slick performance by Muska, stellar individual performances included Jackson Zabranksy in “Sing Sing Sing” as well as April Licato and Genna Gaskill in “Autumn Leaves.” The Honors Jazz Band gave a committed performance that made the audience dance. Kudos to Hawkins and the rest of the ensemble for giving a performance filled with impressive dynamics and holiday spirit.

The second part of the concert was devoted to the Honors Choir, directed by sophomores Kaitlyn Gaffney and Andy Kapetanakis. The co-conductors showcased their incredible talent in directing a small ensemble of voices with no musical accompaniment.

The set for the Honors choir included several holiday classics with a new twist, including a song composed by the famous a cappella group Pentatonix and a song by the famous singers and songwriters Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson.

Several students in the group had solos in some of the songs, stepping up the mic when it was their turn. The Honors Choir gave a concert that was solely a cappella. With the absence of music, the ensemble was forced to turn to an alternative method for their upbeat tunes – beatboxing.

Soloist Jeremy Decker stepped up and gave an incredibly energetic performance through his beatboxing. Through beatboxing and classic hymns, the Honors Choir gave an incredible performance worth watching.

Both ensembles provide a great opportunity for students in the Honors Concentration to get involved in music, whether they are a music major or not. 

“It’s something I look forward to every week,” sophomore musical theatre and history major Laura Foley said. “I’ve met a lot of nice people.”

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