The Fun of Jazz Mad

By Kayla Petersen.

Have you ever tried to sing at 6,909 feet in elevation?  It’s really hard. As a member of the Chamber Singers, I recently experienced this when  we completed a trip in Flagstaff, Arizona where we sang at that horrifying height. This trip was a choir festival called Jazz Mad.   

The drive up consisted of jamming out to songs, talking to friends, and sleeping.  When we got to the hotel, our incredible choir director, Mr. Jordan Rakita, instructed us to put our luggage in our hotel rooms and have a short rehearsal before we ate dinner.  As we reached the place where we were to have our rehearsal, we were surprised to meet two Heritage alumni, Angeleen Hyde and Addy Gordon, waiting to greet us. After many hugs and hellos, they were instructed to leave the room for five minutes so that we could rehearse and then come back for a performance.  

After singing at seven every morning before school, you would think that we could sing practically anywhere right?  Whelp, you were wrong! Several of us almost passed out for several reasons. One is the high elevation, another is that we were in a bus for two and a half hours straight without eating since lunch, and many of us were dehydrated.  After the rehearsal, we sang for Angeleen, Addy, and the Chaperones.

After, we went to a concert where the Shrine of the Ages choir at NAU performed for us as well as the New York Voices.  After the concert, we went back to the hotel for the night. We woke up the next morning at 6:45 to go to breakfast at 7. Shortly after we ate breakfast, we performed and received the perfect score of superior.  After that we were asked to stand in the bitter cold while a few people took some pictures. Soon, we went back to the hotel, packed up, and went to the bus. The bus drove us to downtown Flagstaff for lunch. After lunch we went back to the bus and began our journey home.  

The drive home consisted of catching up on long lost sleep, admiring the gorgeous nature, and singing barbershop tags.  Mr. Rakita and Thomas Farr took turns teaching about nine of us barbershop tags.

We got back to Heritage at about 5:00 PM on Saturday and went home.   You should audition for the Chamber Singers. It really is a blast!

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