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Jazz Ensemble delivers swingin’ favorites at holiday concert


Posted: December 22, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 22, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Members of the College of the Canyons Studio Jazz Ensemble saxophone section are, from left, Jim Brown, Laor Glukhovsky and Nancy Newman. Jesse Munoz/Courtesy photo

The holidays got a swingin’ start when the College of the Canyons Studio Jazz Ensemble delivered a festive selection of Christmas and Hanukkah songs during its annual yuletide concert at the Santa Clarita Performing Arts Center.

Highlights included “Winter Wonderland”, “Silver Bells” and “Hanukkah Swings”, with Music Director KC Manji conducting.

Guest soloist Katherine Lench-Meyering, Broadway performer, lyricist and voice-over actress for Disney theme parks, was featured on “White Christmas”. In the program’s second half, she gave her rendition of the saucy “Santa Baby”, draped in red and green garland.

Dennis Krummel on trumpet performed a moving solo on “O Holy Night”. David Edelstein at the keyboard and James Montminy on saxophone were showcased on several pieces.

Manji gave a special mention that “The Christmas Song” and “Felice Navidad” were arranged by the band’s former director Dirk Fischer, who passed away in the spring.

During the intermission, the Lab Band performed holiday selections, and volunteers sold raffle tickets and holiday CDs that included songs from the concert. Proceeds will go to bus transportation when the 17-member Studio Jazz Ensemble travels to compete in the 52nd annual Reno Jazz Festival in April.

The big band is aiming at repeating its performance in 2007 when it took first place in its division. Band members are fired up for the competition as they will be performing in honor of Fischer.

The ensemble needs to raise $4,500 to cover transportation costs to Reno, Manji said. Band members are selling raffle tickets now until the March 21 concert, when winners will be drawn.

“We have gathered some very unique prizes with the grand prize of having the band perform at a party held anywhere in the Santa Clarita Valley,” Manji said. “We’ll play at a church event, wedding, anniversary, barbecue or birthday party. It’s up to the winner.”

Fundraising is necessary to attend the competition because concert ticket sales go to the college’s general fund, Manji added. Each student is responsible for their own meals, hotel room and tickets to the festival.

For more information on the March 21 concert, or to become a sponsor, buy raffle tickets and CDs or make a donation to the Reno Jazz Festival trip, contact Manji at or (661) 362-5913.



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