By Alan Lewis
I can’t image singing while wearing a mask but the LPC Vocal East Jazz Ensemble performed a live concert on Monday, May 17, 2021 while following all COVID-19 protocols. The singers not only wore masks but were placed a safe distance from each other.
The concert was held in the Black Box theater at Las Positas College with sixteen singers and 1 person playing the piano. Ian Brekke, Music Department Co-Coordinator and vocal ensembles leader played the drum in the last piece. There was not a live audience in the theater but the concert was streamed via YouTube. This is the first vocal concert by LPC held live with the participants all in one location since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.
The ensemble started out with the song Bli Blip by Duke Ellington and Sid Kuller. Eight of the singers sang a solo piece of the song.
The second song was End of Our Love Affair by Amanda Taylor and Mark McLemore. Eight of the students sang solo pieces of the song.
The third piece was Nana das Aquas written by Regina Werneck, Kevyn Lettau and Jorge Kleber. The song is written in the Portuguese language. The singers sang the piece in Portuguese
The final piece was The Garden by Bobby McFerrin. This was my favorite piece as I liked the arrangement of the background singers and the ones singing the lyrics. There were four soloists in this performance.
The ensemble started practicing live in April outside. Up until that time all lessons and rehearsals were via Zoom which has issues with latency and makes a concert almost impossible to hold. In May the ensemble moved indoors but only had four microphone rehearsals. Typically they hold microphone rehearsals for a couple of months prior to a concert.
By the comments in the chat the concert was well received.
My only thing I disliked was rarely were the entire ensemble on screen at once. It appeared that had several cameras filming the video. The video did scroll through the different cameras so one did see the entire ensemble. This also allowed the camera to focus on the soloists.
The video is available on YouTube as well as many other Las Positas College Music performances.