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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 23, 2017

FHS students participate in vocal jazz choir

Aug 13, 2013
PHOTO SUBMITTED Fairfield High School students Baylee Bowman, left, and Claudia Sloat, with Kerry Marsh, director of the 2013 All-State Vocal Jazz Choir.

Fairfield High School seniors Claudia Sloat and Baylee Bowman recently participated in the Iowa All-State Vocal Jazz Choir.

Five FHS students traveled to Huxley March 26 to auditioned for the Iowa All-State Vocal Jazz Choir.

Unlike the all-state chorus, the audition had two mandatory rounds to be accepted, explained FHS vocal teacher Zach Reiter.

In the first round, students must be able to perform a major, minor and chromatic scale, an audition cut, a melodic and a rhythmic sight-reading exercise, and a prepared jazz solo, along with spontaneously improvised singing called scat.

Two FHS students, Sloat and Bowman, made it to the next round, which involved singing the short audition cut in various groupings of the top students from round one, the ultimate goal being to have a superior blend.

Both Sloat and Bowman were accepted for the 2013 All-State Vocal Jazz Choir. This choir was made up of the top 20 vocal jazz students in the state.

Sloat, daughter of Darien and Roberta Sloat, was a second-year All-State Vocal Jazz Choir member. This year, Sloat also was accepted into the All-State Chorus for the second year. In the 2013 All-State Vocal Jazz Choir, she received a major solo in the song “Woods.” Whether it was the song itself or her solo, “Woods” received a lengthy standing ovation, said Reiter.

Sloat participated in Opus Honor Choir for two years and has taken private vocal instruction for one year from Jamie Spillane. Locally, she has participated in FHS Vox, Freshmen Choir, Jazz Ex, High Society, marching and concert band, as well as the Fairfield Area Community Theater production of “Children of Eden” and the Way Off Broadway production of “Annie.” She played the role of Anne Frank in “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which was performed at the Iowa Thespian Festival, and she recently appeared as Tiger Lily in the American Gothic Performing Arts Festival’s production of “Peter Pan.”

Bowman, daughter of Robert and Heidi Bowman, also was a second-year All-State Vocal Jazz Choir member.

Bowman was selected for the Iowa All-State Chorus and is locally involved in Vox, Jazz Choir, marching and concert band, F.A.C.T. productions of “Oliver,” “School House Rock,” “Children of Eden,” “Horton Hears a Who” and the FHS production of “Les Miserables,” and she played Glinda in “The Wizard of Oz.” This August, she and her siblings are competing in the Bill Riley Talent Show Finals at the Iowa State Fair.

The 16th Annual Iowa All-State Vocal Jazz Choir was under the direction of Kerry Marsh.

“The students had a great time working with Kerry Marsh, with his off-center humor and his obvious passion for his work,” said Reiter. “Kerry was heard many times saying this: after working with several all-state vocal jazz groups, that Iowa’s was by far the best.”

Marsh is a composer and arranger specializing in contemporary music for vocal jazz ensembles. In high demand as a commissioned arranger for many of the nation’s top educational vocal and instrumental jazz ensembles, Marsh has a large and varied catalog of music performed regularly around the world. Marsh publishes more than 160 compositions and arrangments at www.KerryMarsh.com, and also has published arrangements through UNC Jazz Press and Sound Music Publications.

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