Vocal jazz ensemble performs at Metro


Posted Tue, Nov 1, 2011


Entrance to King Center Concert Hall. Photo Credit: James Crussell

DENVER — MSCD Faculty Rhythm Section opened their jam session at the Auraria campus King Center Concert Hall Thursday night to the delight of the hip and swingin’ crowd.

The jumpin’ gig, featuring classics and original jams, was a collaboration between students and faculty spotlighting a number of notable soloists who wove an irresistible tapestry of master grooves that flipped the audience. The event was free and open to the public.

Directed by Steve Meininger, the ensemble performed a series of jazz throwbacks from no later than 1966. Meininger has been teaching for 38 years and has also directed the Denver Chamber Chorale. The show opened with an original piece by the faculty rhythm section.

The rhythm section was composed of Carmen Sandim, a nationally acclaimed piano player. Ron Bland played the upright bass and has been playing professionally for over 25 years. Jill Frederickson was featured on the drums and has performed with many notable musicians.

“They are all very nice, creative musicians,” said Coordinator of Jazz Studies, Ron Bland. “Carmen and Ron are on faculty, and Jill was a guest.”

The first performance was by MSCD students, Jerry Peterson and Tania Katz. The duet performed individual solos within Come Rain or Come Shine, a song from the 1946 musical St. Louis Woman.

The students told the audience that they were required to perform lead sheets and complete at least one per semester. Lead sheets incorporate what makes up the structure of a song: the lyrics, harmony, and melody.

“As a music student, I really like how they deal with more complicated stuff like lead sheets,” said MSCD sophomore, Rick Seagraves, after the performance. “Tonight was a really decent show.”

The second performance was by MSCD student Kevin Guzzo, who sang Cry Me A River—a piece written by Arthur Hamilton in 1953. This was a standout performance, and Guzzo gave the crowd a warm smile and bow after the song was finished.

Following Guzzo was MSCD student Tyler Jones’ solo of The Best is Yet to Come, a piece by Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh.

After Jones’ solo, the entire ensemble came out and performed God Only Knows, from 1966, as the last song of the night. Guzzo and Ellisha Doolen had individual solos within the piece.

MSCD student Kahlea Qualls then came out for her solo, God Bless the Child, with only Sandim backing on the piano.

Peterson returned for a solo of When I Fall in Love, from the 1952 romantic war movie, One Minute to Zero. Peterson’s solo was captivating and wasn’t deterred by the mic issues.

The final standout performance of the night was from MSCD student Jennifer Daiker, who performed Too Darn Hot from the 1948 musical, Kiss Me Kate. Her voice filled the room and the crowd was very receptive to her performance.

“I felt like [Thursday] went really well,” Daiker said. “It was one of the best performances by the vocal ensemble.” Daiker gives lessons outside of campus and has seven years of experience with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, from 1988-1994. Daiker’s program is called the Master’s Music; more information can be found online at myheartsong.net.

“I teach independently and go into people’s homes on Tuesdays and Thursdays,” said Daiker. “I mostly work with stage performance, and on Fridays I teach from my studio at home.”

Students under any major can perform in the jazz ensembles; they just have to audition for the part. Auditions take place every January, April, and August, with the audition being valid for one year.

“Anybody can sing in the men’s or women’s chorus. Contact coordinator MB Krueger if you are interested in auditioning. It is a good way to get your foot in the door into the music department and sharpen your skills,” Daiker said.

The next upcoming audition date is scheduled for Jan. 7, 2012.

Performance Credits:

Chris Anderson, Joey Costanza, Jennifer Daiker, Ellisha Doolen, Kevin Guzzo, Rachel Hamilton, Tyler Jones, Tania Katz, Jerry Peterson, Kahlea Qualls, Bradley Sharp, Kay Simpson, Jeni Zevin

Carmin Sandim -piano, Ron Bland -bass, Jill Fredrickson

Colin Bricker, & Mighty Fine Productions

Steven Meininger

*Performance credits from evening program


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One Response to “Vocal jazz ensemble performs at Metro”

  1. Kevin Rostad Says:

    This was a good story. It seemed a little repetative at parts but for the most part was a very well written story.


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