The Fullerton College Music Department presented the award winning ensemble Big Band and J Train Vocal Jazz inside the Campus Theatre on Tuesday, Dec. 5.
Attendants of the event were eager to get into the venue due to the ice cold winds outside.
Upon entering, excited chatter and anticipation began to fill the room. The clock hit 7:33 p.m. and the event began.
The first song performed was “Money Can’t Buy Me Love”. The song was short but sweet with a couple nice solos by pianist Cameron Chavez and alto sax player William Overholtzer.
“It’s been a short semester, that’s the only song we have,” Babad jokingly said. He then took the time to properly introduce the Jazz Band.
Jumping into the next song “Always and Forever”, Madison Holland stole the show with her passionate guitar playing. The song was very intimate and a couple sniffles from audience members could be overheard.
“That’s my Madison,” Babad said. He then welcomed director Jamie Shew along with the J Train Vocal Jazz.
Shew wasted no time as they immediately started performing “This Little Light of Mine.” The song featured a fun upbeat tempo that definitely got people’s feet tapping. There were a lot of high and low notes being hit throughout the song, and it finished with loud, powerful vocals.
Audience members then traveled to Brazil with the song “Sassy Samba”. The influence of Brazil’s culture was definitely felt due to the electric rhythm. “Sassy Samba” introduced the first drums solo of the night by Luke Rey. After rocking out on the drums, he earned a couple of “Woo’s” and “Yeah’s” by the audience.
Halfway through the concert, the executive director of Friends of Jazz Kenny Burrell and a representative took the stage to present scholarships to 14 hard working musicians.
“I want to cry,” bass vocalist Nathan Diaz said on receiving a scholarship from Friends of Jazz. “The first time I ever got recognized for anything in music was on this stage in high school. It feels like the universe is telling me that I’m doing something great.”
After the scholarship presentations, Christmas came early with “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” performed by both the Jazz Band and J Train Vocal Jazz. The song definitely got audience members into the Christmas spirit.
Continuing with the Christmas theme, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” had the rhythm section interact with the J Train Vocal Jazz. The ambience of this song felt as if one was awaking on Christmas day to it snowing outside and the air tainted by the scent of hot chocolate.
Last but definitely not least was the song “Salt Peanuts.” Professor Chad Willis came out to perform on the trumpet with the Jazz Band. “For him [Willis], the stuff he plays is all spontaneous,” Babad said.
This came to fruition when he commanded the venue early on in the song. However, Juan Garcia stole the night with an epic drums solo. His performance made the night an unforgettable one.
“I’m definitely coming back next semester to check out more concerts. Just listening to these guys was phenomenal and I can’t wait to see what new pieces they do,” 21-year-old Christopher Martinez said.
The next upcoming event by the FC Music Department is the Applied Piano Student Recital on Tuesday, Dec. 12, starting at 7:30 p.m. inside the Recital Hall.