Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press

Forum for student expression since 1977

The Patriot Press


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Jazz Choir: swinging into harmony

The audience quiets as students file onto stage. The lights begin to lift. Voices flood the room with a cool, jazzy tone. But wait… where are the traditional choir outfits? There’s a drum kit on stage? A bass guitar? Brass? Isn’t this a choir concert?

Despite these nontraditional choir components, Jazz Choir has become one of the most integral and influential sections of the Liberty choir program. Resembling a club more than a class, it gives students an opportunity to devote extra time and energy into learning advanced pieces and melodies, playing a major role in encouraging the growth of more advanced musicians in the choir program. 

“Since it is a club, it really should be more student-led this year,” Price said. “Our goal is for students to lead the rehearsals, teach music, and have them set their own goals.”

This switch in the group’s dynamic has been well-received by students, welcoming the step-back approach that Price is trying to take. Understanding this new approach, however, requires a more complex understanding of how Jazz Choir runs and operates.

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Within the first few weeks of the school year, all students interested in joining must go through a rigorous audition, even veteran members. The program is selective, being primarily composed of the more talented singers in the choir, as well as some students that have a lot of potential to improve within Jazz Choir. 

“Hopefully it seems very easy to the audience, but the Jazz Choir music is the hardest repertoire we perform all year. The harmonies are crazy, the rhythms are intricate, and there is a lot of syncopation,” Price said. 

When it comes down to how the music is organized for performances, it usually follows a set structure, with two that are upbeat and fun to sing, introducing different elements of jazz, as well as one ballad. One of the pieces will be sung acapella, with the other two being accompanied by various instruments, typically including drums and bass. 

“Mr. Price picks a lot of the music we perform, but if you have a song that you want to do, he’ll always listen to it. We get a lot of say in what we do with our music,” senior Mia Williamson said. 

Despite the steep difficulty level and high expectations, members of the program find the music and community quite rewarding. For most members, the two weekly meetings are an absolute must if they don’t want to fall behind. Every practice is another step towards perfecting the group dynamic for each song. The social element of the meetings and group refinement could be referenced as one of the most integral parts of bringing the performances together. 

“Our sound is a direct reflection of the community that’s making it. Our blend and our harmonies all come from the trust that we have in one another,” senior Giovanna Castaneda said.

About the Contributor
Kade Ecker
Kade Ecker, Beat Editor
Kade Ecker is a senior at Liberty High School and the beat editor for the Patriot Press. In their free time, they are a very active member of the Seattle punk, metal, and goth scenes.