Singers and jazz musicians from Thurston Middle School and Laguna Beach High School are putting their talents together in the first-ever combined spring concert in the Artists’ Theatre, June 6, at 7:30 p.m.
A celebration of the great variety and shared heritage of American popular songs and jazz standards, the joint program includes spirituals, show tunes, film songs, and contemporary hits and spans groundbreaking compositions from Mingus, Kern and Brubeck to Wonder, Hancock and Adele.
The combination of vocal and instrumental groups is the brainchild of choral director Roxanna Ward and jazz band director Roger Shew and grew out of adjacent rehearsal times, collaboration around school musicals, and the conviction that the two forms belonged together in the same show.
“Roger and I have been talking about doing this for a long time,” explained Ward. “We also share this fantasy of putting together a music festival that pulls all of our performers from both schools together and this combined concert feels like a step in that direction. Besides, keeping things creative, collaborative and fresh is what making great music is all about.”
Each group will have a portion of the program but the concert will culminate in a closing number – Ellington’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing…” – in which all four ensembles, totaling more than 100 students, will perform together
Tickets at the door; students and seniors, $5, and $10 for adults. All proceeds are used for the purchase of music.