On the evening of Nov. 6, I had the pleasure of attending the fall Vocal Jazz concert. Now, as a self-professed band kid, I’ll admit that one would be hard-pressed to catch my face at any choral event, so this concert was a glimpse into a brand new world of musical culture for me.
At five minutes to showtime, Christiansen Recital Hall was flooded with whooping and hollering choir students. The stage was set with eleven handheld microphones, several large speakers, and a small rhythm section of piano, upright bass, and drums. After a few moments of excited murmuring, the concert began.
The show was divided into three parts. First, Vocal Jazz II performed, under the direction of Jill Kadrmas. Next, six soloists performed one number each with the rhythm section. Finally, Vocal Jazz I took the stage, directed by Wyatt Steinke.
There were several notable moments throughout the show. Vocal Jazz II kicked off the event with a playful ditty called “World of Sports” by Anders Edenroth.
For those who don’t know this one, I highly recommend looking it up. Some of the more memorable soloists from the evening included Brennan Harvey, who performed “Moody’s Mood for Love,” and Jill Kadrmas who sang “Willow Weep for Me.” Both soloists were charismatic and displayed an obvious emotional connection to their chosen songs..
But the highlight of the night was definitely the last act — Vocal Jazz I. As they performed each of their songs, whether they were touching or tongue-in-cheek, my heart absolutely melted. Their rendition of “Café” by Carol Welsman was groovy; enough to make the crowd want to dance. Their final number, “I’ve Never Been in Love Before” by Frank Loesser, was absolutely touching.The piece created the feeling of falling in love for the first time.
The concert was outrageously fun and an event worth revisiting. The ability to combine poetry and music to make something more meaningful is powerful and impactful to its audience, especially in jazz. The fall Vocal Jazz concert demonstrated well how phenomenal Concordia’s music program can be.