The Californian

Cal choir jazzes it up

Ilene Morrisette, Staff Writer

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Cal High has a new choir, and  it’s pretty jazzy.

Started at the beginning of the school year, the choir currently consists of 14 people. 

The jazz choir will join the school’s other choral programs tonight for a farewell concert in the theater from 6-9 p.m.

The jazz choir was created for those who are really committed to music and the choral program.The group  practices every Wednesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. to hone their singing skills.

Choir teacher Nick Patton plans to extend next year’s practices to one and a half hours, twice a week.

“I ultimately want to make them into my gigging choir,” Patton said. “I see them as the choral ambassadors.”

To get into jazz choir, students must first be in the school’s chamber choir, which students have to audition for. After that, students need to go through a second audition to get into the jazz choir.

Another choral option the school offers is the intermediate, high-voice range treble choir, which also requires an audition.

If an audition choir sounds too daunting, Cal also has a concert choir, which is a mixed beginning choir that does not require an audition to get into. 

Patton expects the jazz choir to be the face of the choir program and do more performing than the other classes.

The jazz choir has only performed locally so far, working with Mountain View High School’s choir, singing at eighth grade night, and various local middle schools. 

Patton plans to expand and perform at nearby festivals, Disneyland, and even go on overnight trips that combine fun performances and also learning experiences for the students.

The small choir size allows for the members to be really close.

“They’re  my second family,” said senior Gaby Farruggia. “I love them so much.”

The familial sense runs strong through the choir.

“We’re definitely like a family, and you can really feel the connection when we are singing,” said junior Maren Callaway.

Although the class is called jazz choir, not all the music they perform is of the jazz genre.

“I would never lock us in with one genre of music,” Patton said. “That would be crazy.” 

Favorite songs among some group members are “The More I See You” by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren, and Gloria Estefan’s “Turn the Beat Around.”

One song requested frequently by the members is “Sunday Morning” by Maroon 5. 

In the future, Patton would also like to produce a jazz cabaret that includes dinner and a show.

“If you are interested in jazz music and want to be able to focus on the details and fine tune the music[you should join the choir],” said Callaway.

Photo courtesy of Nick Patton
Choir teacher Nick Patton, second from left, poses with some members of his jazz choir and seniors during their holiday performance in December.

Patton’s goal is to make choir a safe space for students to express themselves and this has proven to be very useful for his choral students. This silly environment always makes for an entertaining practice.

“Every rehearsal has something weird happening,” said Farruggia.

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The School Newspaper for California High School, San Ramon CA
Cal choir jazzes it up