Jazz Voices to host concert Wednesday


Forget finals.

The Beatles, Stevie Wonder and Christmas classics will help students overlook the upcoming weeks of agony.

BYU will host Jazz Voices’ “Joyful Noise” concert Wednesday at 7:30 in the Madsen Recital Hall of the Harris Fine Arts Center. The concert will feature popular songs and Christmas classics accompanied by BYU’s synthesis band (drums, bass and piano).

Jazz Voices is a co-ed singing group with 19 vocalists and a three-person rhythm section. Members of Jazz Voices describe their group as one of BYU’s premier singing groups.

Sarah Oldham, a freshman member of Jazz Voices, from Fruit Heights, said she believes the group is entertaining because of its ability to improvise on the fly.

[media-credit name=”Jaren Wilkey / BYU Photo” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]
Members of BYU's Jazz Voices combine improvisation and jazz instruments to connect with their audience.
“We are one of the only groups on campus that has an improvisation element,” Oldham said. “Improvisation creates a fun setting that allows us the opportunity to share our emotions with the audience.”

Michelle Burnett, a recent BYU graduate and a former member of Jazz Voices, said improvisation showcases the talents of the singers.

“Jazz often relies heavily on improvisation,” Burnett said in an email. “So you have to listen, count, watch and trust your fellow singers and musicians. Many times, a song won’t sound the same twice, so you have to be strong enough to hold your own. So there’s a kind of excitement that comes with listening to jazz.”

Although Jazz Voices may seem like just another BYU singing group, Burnett said she assures students tonight’s concert will be a unique experience.

“People are often surprised at how relaxed Jazz Voices concerts are,” Burnett said. “You can see the singers having fun and getting into the music. You never really know what to expect. Although you can expect less dancing than Vocal Point. Some dancing, just less.”

Members of the talented singing ensemble insist their concerts incorporate a wide variety of song selections and musical arrangements.

According  to group member Kennedy Wilkes, a soprano from Kaysville, jazz is a special type of music that has power to touch listeners emotionally and spiritually.

“Our goal is to inspire,” Wilkes said. “Wednesday night’s show will dissolve our listeners’ problems and invite the Spirit to touch them with the messages they need. It’s a must-attend event because of the post-Thanksgiving blues and finals looming in the future; everyone needs a little inspiration.”

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