As the quarter progresses, students have much to look forward to from the music department.
Bellevue College’s vocal jazz ensemble “Celebration,” a group of students and faculty led by Tom Almli the school’s music chair, including Shawn Schlogel as well as the newly hired teacher and head of BC’s jazz band, Jim Sisko, recently returned from the Jazz Education Network’s festival in Dallas, Tex. Held at the Hyatt Regency Hotel from Jan. 8 to 12, JEN featured a variety of performances, clinics and contests with individual musicians and large groups from all around the globe meeting to share in and build upon their love of jazz with one another. Performers had the opportunity to play for a large audience of their peers and receive feedback from proven veterans of the genre.
BC will be hosting two festivals in the same vein as JEN, this quarter on two consecutive weekends. First on the list is BC’s two-day “Pacific Jazz Festival.” Featuring almost 20 distinct vocal jazz groups, the festivities will be held in the Carlson Theater where musicians will perform for one another, an audience as well as a panel of judges. Many of the musical groups come representing different high schools from around the area, where “they will perform, be scored, work with clinicians, see how they can improve,” according to Lyneen Patnoe, performing arts coordinator and Theatre manager. Furthermore, groups which earn the favor of the judges will not only receive the experience but commendations as victors in the festival, an award which assists them as a badge of honor on their resumes. “It’s an opportunity for them to come to the college, see what we have here, see what we do as well as learn more vocal jazz techniques.” According to Sean Schloggel, BC’s group piano instructor, the festival is as much for the sake of the performers as the audience, as it offers “the education of performing and having clinicians talk to each group and each soloist about what they’ve done well and what they can improve upon.” The clinicians’ advice will include instruction in general composition as well as tonality. BC’s jazz choir “Celebration” will perform at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 31 and the following day, Feb. 1. General admission is $7. In describing the group, Shawn explained: “Celebration is our vocal jazz ensemble, its a collection of vocalists from around Washington as well as our rhythm section, which is me on piano, Randy Taylor on drums and Nate Parker on bass. We’re like a regular choir except we play music in the jazz idiom.”
Just a week, Feb. 7 and 8 is the annual Jazz Band Festival, where around 20 middle and high school bands will be showcased and receive the same clinical feedback on their art. In the evening on Saturday, BC’s jazz combo, lead by Jim Sisko, will perform. This is the same group that occasionally performs in the cafeteria.
On Mar. 19 at 11:30 a.m. in the Carlson Theater lobby, the concert choir students in Tom Almli’s MUSC100 and MUSC200 classes, will be putting on a free concert. Three days later on Mar. 21 at 7:30 p.m. the choir will feature songs set to “The Poet Sings.”
Towards the end of the quarter, tentatively set for Mar. 18, Brian Cobb, a theory teacher at BC as well as private music instructor, will host another of his quarterly “From the Chamber” concerts, featuring BC students who are receiving credit for their private instruction. This is often one of the most eclectic performances put on by the music department, as its only limiting factor is that acts be entirely acoustic. “From the Chamber” in Dec. 2013 had everything from pop music on the piano and classical guitar to a barbershop quartet as well as a variety of international music including an Indian raga. Some groups may be families, as only one member from any given performance need be a student at BC.
As the quarter moves forward a date for this event will be solidified.