Faculty, students jazz it up at McKinney Theater

The music faculty and students performed the Jazz Faculty Concert at McKinney Theater on Jan. 20. (Vince Neale)

The Saddleback College music faculty put on a jazz performance Monday night in Saddleback College’s McKinney Theater.

Students, staff and members of the public gathered Monday evening for a night of jazz performances provided by the Saddleback College music department faculty and students. 

The 90 minute event showcased the music faculties’ ability to perform in front of large crowds. More than 150 people were in attendance.

“I liked all of the songs but my favorite was the second one called “The Blues” because there was a lot more energy in that song and the crowd was high on that one so they all enjoyed it. It was great,” said attendee Daria Ameri.

As the concert rolled on, music filled the theater and each set was concluded with cheers from the crowd. 

McKinney Theater will be the setting of many concerts throughout the spring semester this year. These shows will feature professional musicians and select students majoring in music. Some of the famous acts include: Kirill Gliadkovsky, Kei Akagi, Neil Varon, John Daversa and Arunesh Nadgir. 

The opportunity given to members of the public and students to witness seasoned musicians on a local stage could inspire attendees to pursue careers in the performance industry and heighten their appreciation for live music.

“Listening is 90-95% of the battle, so by enjoying that you can make a lot of progress,” said Eric Capps, a music department student.  

Joey Sellers, director of jazz studies (Vince Neale)

Capps played on stage accompanied by several other music majors and members of the music department staff during the concert to gain live performance experience.

“It’s just gonna encourage them to work hard and continue what they’re doing,” said Ameri in regards to the importance of students witnessing seasoned musicians on stage.

The Monday night concert was a foreshadowing to how the over 27 concerts that will be held at Saddleback this year will go. The attendees left the concert quite jazzy, even though the usual drummer featured in prior shows could not make it.

“The drummer was great. He is not the usual faculty member so it was really cool,” said Capps.

The next show scheduled in McKinney Theater is Musical Mania! on Feb.1 featuring the Saddleback College vocalists and instructor Scott Farthing.

More information about this semester’s concert schedule is available on the school website and tickets for the majority of the shows are on sale now.

“I am definitely attending more concerts scheduled for the spring semester,” said student Carlos Quintero after the show.