Reunited by song

Concert will be a 'musical homecoming' for those who have sang in the program the past 25 years

Grass Valley Elementary School in Camas will be the location of a “musical homecoming,” for those who have been members of the vocal jazz group in the past and present.

The fall concert, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, will honor vocal jazz members from the past 25 years who have paved the way for Grass Valley Vocal Jazz, according to director Natalie Wilson.

“Former Camas vocal jazz members from all grade levels are invited and encouraged to attend the concert,” she said.

A reception will immediately follow.

The reunion was the brainchild of former members who have stayed connected through the years because of their participation in the program when it was at the former J.D. Zellerbach Elementary School.

The vocal jazz group consists of third- through fifth-grade students that perform only jazz music.

Accompanied by a student rhythm section on piano, bass and drums, it is one of very few elementary vocal jazz choirs in the nation.

The group’s accolades are numerous, according to Wilson. These include: Several “Outstanding Musician Awards” at annual jazz festivals, first-place at the 2011 Northwest Vocal Jazz Festival at Mt. Hood Community College in the middle school/jr. high division, and participation in local, state, regional and national honor choirs.

The group has also been selected by audition to perform at the Washington State Music Educators Association Conference in Yakima next February. They will also be a demonstration choir for a session that Wilson is presenting at the Northwest American Choral Directors Association conference in March in Seattle. Other activities include the Friends of Frank DeMiero Jazz Reach festival in Lynnwood, Wash., and the Northwest Vocal Jazz Festival at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham, Ore. as well as concerts in the school and community.

Wilson said she is excited to see former jazz members in the audience.

“Grass Valley Vocal Jazz looks forward to meeting those who have set the standard of excellence for vocal jazz program where they now participate,” Wilson said. “This performance is the our way of saying ‘thank you!'”

For more information, e-mail or call 833-5710.