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Time to mambo

There’s a renewed energy at Bellerose Composite High as the jazz band and jazz choir step it up a few notches for Mambos and Mocktails coming this Friday.
MAKING PERFECT
Jeremy Broadfield

There’s a renewed energy at Bellerose Composite High as the jazz band and jazz choir step it up a few notches for Mambos and Mocktails coming this Friday.

The traditional music department fundraiser not only provides scholarships for summer jazz camps, it’s also an excellent avenue for aspiring musicians to strut their diverse styles. “There are a lot of Grade 12 students in this show and this is the last opportunity for them to perform,” says music director Karen Labahn.

Keeping in time with the season, Victoria Anderson and Meaghan McKinstry sing a jazzed-up version of We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and guitarist/singer Rachel Buehl and tenor saxophonist Trevor Norris give Silent Night a new treatment.

On a more traditional note, Shaun Russenholt (flute) and Nathaniel Grosventrebas (guitar) put their stamp on the all-time favourite Rudolph.

This year the 19-piece jazz band and the 14-member all-girl jazz choir is smaller than usual. “Numbers usually average around 45. But this is all part of the education cycle,” explains Labahn.

To make up for the lower numbers, Labahn has included a sneak peak of the school’s upcoming February production, The Sound of Music. All the nuns will perform the Latin-based Morning Hymn along with The Processional. “They’ll be all there in their penguin outfits.”

In contrast to the saintly songs is the sizzling My Romance, a 1935 tune penned by Lorenz Hart and Richard Rodgers and sung by soloists Meghan Thompson and Megan Fraser.

“This is an a cappella four-part for the women’s choir. The text is lovely. Everyone sings underneath and the melody is carried by these two lovely ladies.”

Anyone looking to hoof it on the dance floor should keep their ears peeled for George Gershwin’s Somebody Loves Me, Cab Calloway’s Minnie the Moocher, Chuck Rio’s Tequila and Quincy Jones’ Soul Bossa Nova.

“Everyone was so encouraging about Mambos and Mocktails we bought our own mirror ball. We might be the only school in Alberta with their own mirror ball.”

Visual arts teacher Judy Smallwood has also organized Spread the Net, a fundraiser to buy nets for malaria infested areas. “Rick Mercer supports this campaign and if schools raise a certain amount, he’ll come and do a show from the school.”

Labahn promises the three-hour event will offer “constant live music, an exciting visual atmosphere and great energy to put you in the Christmas spirit.”

Preview

Mambos and Mocktails<br />Friday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m.<br />Bellerose Composite High School<br />Tickets: $20 Call 780-460-8490