Kirkwood High School student newspaper

KHS vocal jazz performs at Millikin University’s annual vocal jazz festival

February 19, 2018

The KHS coed vocal jazz chorus, Kaleidoscope, and all girl’s vocal jazz chorus, Prism, performed in the 29th annual Vocal Jazz Festival at Kirkland Fine Arts Center at Millikin University, Feb. 17. Each chorus along with other vocal jazz groups from high schools around the state sang a set of 3 songs for professional clinicians and received 30 minute clinics critiquing their sets after leaving the stage. Millikin’s primary coed vocal jazz group OneVoice sponsors the show along with Milliken’s other coed vocal jazz group “Blue Bop” and also performed for 30 minutes.


Prism sang both “Mellowtone” and “Under My Skin” as well as one of their newer songs “Where is Love.” Anna Smith, sophomore and member of Prism, said Prism had limited time to practice because they only meet after school once a week, but that she’s glad she can fit the program in with her busy schedule. She also said she enjoyed visiting the festival at Milliken for her first time.


“It was fun hearing the other groups,” Smith said. “And [it’s] fun getting to see what we could do and what we can improve on to be as good as some of the other groups.”


Kaleidoscope sang “Season’s of Love,” “Run to You,” and “Overture to the Marriage of Figaro.” The group of 17 students that make up the chorus meet during first hour almost every day. According to Jim DeYong, senior and member of Kaleidoscope, his involvement in the coed Acapella choir at KHS since his sophomore year as well as Kaleidoscope this year caused him to favor the vocal jazz choir over Acapella because of the different learning environment.


“I like being in a smaller choir versus a larger choir because it allows more room for improvement,” DeYong said. “Mr. Cannon the choir director [has more room to] improve each person individually instead as sections.” ”

— Jim DeYong


Clementine Ives, sophomore and member of Kaleidoscope, said she’s enjoyed being apart of Kaleidoscope and attending the festival because she likes seeing how other people perform jazz as well as singing it herself. She knew she wanted to audition for Kaleidoscope after watching her sister perform in the group during her years at KHS. David Cannon, choir director, has his own ties to Millikin’s vocal jazz program because he used to perform in it.


“I was a member of Millikin’s OneVoice vocal jazz group during my junior and senior years,” said Cannon. “I sang in the festival and during my first year of teaching I brought kids to the festival and I’ve been bringing them ever since.”


According to Cannon, he believes the annual vocal jazz festival at Millikin is the best showcase festival for vocal jazz choirs around the area. He also says Millikin’s primary vocal jazz group OneVoice is also one of the best college vocal jazz choruses. He said he plans to bring more students to the festival and looks forward to more years of teaching, singing and listening to jazz because it’s America’s art form.


“Vocal jazz is as hard as it gets and also as satisfying as it gets in terms of the difficulty and enjoyment level,” Cannon said. “As I say, it’s worth it.”


Prism performs “Where is Love”


Millikin’s OneVoice peforms “Brand New”


Kaleidoscope performs “Run to You” video courtesy of aserenko2 on youtube



1 Comment

One Response to “KHS vocal jazz performs at Millikin University’s annual vocal jazz festival”

  1. Ruthie Eng (Michalowski) Millikin Jazz on August 8th, 2018 9:35 pm

    Hey Dave! Such beautiful work u do with the Music Dept. I admired u as a musician, vocalist, and music theorist. You pushed me through my years at Millikin. Thank you for being one of my Mentors. Sincerely, Ruthie

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