The Mishawaka High School (MHS) Jazz Choir and Choir performed in the Indiana State School Music Association Jazz contest Saturday March 3, 2018. All MHS groups earned gold trophies.
Rebecca Wilson is the choir adviser and a teacher at MHS. “We were one of the first schools to adopt the Vocal Jazz curriculum in 2005,”said Wilson. The Choir groups have been going to contest for nine years now and had gotten gold place in division one the last five years. “Last year we even received the ‘With Distinction’ award from the state as well,”stated Wilson. The groups like to keep their set list modern and fun. “Sometimes we do choreography for a song if it adds to the performance,”said Wilson. In September the Maroon Jazz Choir was featured in the South Bend jazz Festival and have performed at the Morris Performing Arts Center. “We do tour each year and we have also performed at Butler with the a’cappella groups, Take 6 and Jordan Jazz,”said Wilson.
Emily Hey is a junior at Mhs and is a part of Jazz Choir for the second year. “I love performing because it makes all of the hard practice worth it when you get to show it off for an audience and the judges,”said Hey. Hey believes that the win was well deserved because the choir worked so hard. “We drilled the music relentlessly with Mrs. Wilson and Mrs. Lang, or music teachers,”said Hey. The vocal groups had been working on their contest pieces all year but the MHS music teachers really cracked down with the new semester in January. “They [the music teachers] helped us to learn the notes, memorize the music, and refine it as a group,” said Hey.
Tova Brocco, a junior, is a member of the Vocal Group that performed. “We practiced for months,”said Brocco. Maroon Jazz has a long history of wins. “It's all because of Mrs. Wilson,”said Brocco. “Winning felt awesome, our hard work had paid off really well,”said Justin Christensen, a senior at MHS and a part of Jazz Choir. “Performing can be pretty scary but at the end of the day I love to sing so we just sing our hearts out and do what Mrs. Wilson taught us and do our very best,”said Christensen,”it just feels so good to do that and get rewarded for it.”
“The competition is scored by three judges giving scores up to 100, anywhere above 66 is a gold,”said David Milhander, senior. David has been in Jazz Choir for two years and they have won gold each of those years. “When we got distinction last year it meant we were top five percent of all choirs and that felt really good,” said Milhander. Wesley Miser is a junior at MHS and was apart of the Maroon Jazz Choir. “It was nerve wracking, as most performances go, but not completely difficult,”said Miser. “The judges judged us based on rhythms, dynamics, intonation, and a fee other categories,”said Miser.
“Being on stage and finally getting to showcase what we’ve been working on felt really rewarding and fulfilling,”said Morgan Hardy,junior. “This year, I and many other people in the group have grown musically and as people, and coming together to make such beautiful music is always such an amazing feeling,” said Hardy.
Jazz choir is tryouts only and the group would like a good turn out.