Behind the scenes of your local jazz group
By Julia Janiszewski
Student musicians rehearsed for weeks to perform in a jazz and pop ensemble concert presented by the HWC Music Program in early December.
The ensemble is part of an end of the semester assignment for the Music 109 course.
Rehearsals for the ensemble took place on the third floor in Room 323 every Tuesday and Thursday morning, and the ensemble itself was hosted in Room 103 on December 5.
All necessary sound equipment was brought from the third floor rehearsal labs to Room 103, according to Equipment and Facilities Manager, Brook Mix.
Anthony Florez, the music professor and the rehearsal director for the ensemble, is very passionate about the music program and music courses at HWC.
“Everyone benefits from the study of arts,” said Florez about the course in an email. “It also lets you into a world where you can express things from inside of yourself.”
Students in the Music 109 course learn how to be in a band or group setting and how to better communicate with their band members musically, according to Florez.
“They also learn things like musical concepts, improvisation, form, theory, and stage presence,” said Florez.
“The class has made us bond as people and as musicians,” said Kiya Barber, a vocalist.
The students participating in this concert are placed in ranks A, B, and C. Skill, instrument type, and style type determines which rank a student is given.
“Each [rank is] their own band and once they have their style, they pick their music,” said Masaki Araya, a studio engineer.
Florez made it clear that the groups are split based more on musical compatibility in style and genre than it is about skill.
“While groups are organized by style and skill, there is no competition,” said vocalist Jessica Barber.
Florez hopes his students will finish this semester farther along in their musical journey than they were when they started.
“No matter what level they come in on, they are pushed to get better throughout the semester in many ways,” he said.
Dakari Waddell, a member from Group B, has played the bass for four years. “We navigate our own musical destinies,” he said. “We click as humans and as musicians.”