Singer Showcase featured talented student singers and musicians

Eveline Murphy-Wilson, Staff Writer

Today twelve of south’s best singers dressed up in button downs, ties, skirts, and slacks to show off their great talent at the Singer’s Showcase.  Accompanied by South High’s Jazz band and Concert Orchestra, the singers performed an array of jazz standards.

Tunes bounced off the walls, anything from Bye Bye Blackbird to Somethings Gotta Give and for a grand finale, Steve Faison, a local artist, sang five songs including Luck Be A Lady and Everyday I Have the Blues.

The Singer’s Showcase was on schedule, going from 7 to 9 pm on January 15.  The show ran almost seamlessly, with a few “oh no where’s my music” moments which were turned into funny and smart conversations between conductor, South band and jazz band teacher, Eric Sayer, and the performer to keeps the audience amused.

Overall, the show was so well done, with such enthusiasm from the musicians, that if mistakes happened, they were smoothed over so quickly, no one took notice.

Ms. Laurie Meyers spoke with me about the preparation for the show.  “A few months before the performance, the students in Pop Singers and Jazz Ensemble I receive a list of potential songs and lead sheets, all jazz standards and mostly from the 1930’s and 1940’s,” Meyers explained.  “Preparation includes listening to recordings from artists such as Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald, working one-on-one with our guest artist, and practicing with an instrumental practice track recorded by our Jazz Ensemble I.”

Meyers went on to explain that each student who wishes to audition for Mr. Sayer and herself at which point, they select twelve.  “It is a process that many singers do not experience until college or even beyond, in the professional world.  This process takes extraordinary courage, independence, initiation, and a very high level of musicianship,”

On the competitive side of things, Meyers explained that the Singer’s Showcase is very competitive. “To be selected, a singer must be able to learn a song independently, hold their own with a big band playing in the background, command the stage, use appropriate microphone technique, and above all, be expressive with their singing,” Meyers said.

“Our hope is that each student who takes part in the preparation and audition process learns about themselves, learns some new tunes, learns about the jazz genre, and is eager for their next audition opportunity, no matter the outcome of this particular audition,” Meyers said while concluding our interview.

There are only so many ways in which you can write “this show was great.” This show was five stars, very professional, classic, modest, and so much fun to watch.