Edmonds-Woodway, Meadowdale jazz choirs work together for success

The EWHS Mello-Aires and MHS Impressions jazz choirs pose for a group photo at the Columbia Basin Jazz Festival. (Photo courtesy Charlotte Reese)

Jazz choirs from Edmonds-Woodway and Meadowdale high schools had strong finishes at last weekend’s Columbia Basin Jazz Festival in Pasco. But teachers and parents agreed that the best part was watching the two choirs collaborate, even though they were technically competitors.

According to EWHS Choir Director Charlotte Reese, to prepare for the Columbia Basin festival, E-W’s Mello-Aires and Meadowdale’s Impressions jazz choirs did an improv workshop in the fall with Greta Matassa, then before spring break an ensemble feedback workshop with Amanda Taylor Kunz.

The groups also traveled together to Green River Community College, where they worked with Australian singer Michelle Nicolle and pianist Matt Falker.

At the Columbia Basin festival, Edmonds-Woodway won Division 2 and the Sweepstakes Award for best overall jazz choir out of all 25 groups. Meadowdale came in second in Division 2 and won best rhythm section. The following soloists were also recognized: Rodney Ocfemia, Tiia Freeman, Leah Kerr, Dana Salazar, Mikala Kim, Julia Kim, Dominic Nye and Hannah Song.

“It was so great to see the two groups mix and mingle and support one another,” Reese wrote in an email. “Meadowdale even loaned us their keyboard and the director helped out with our soundcheck. We look forward to many activities together and lots and lots of jazz!”


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