RCC Vocal Jazz Ensemble performs for Jon Secada

Jon Secada, internationally acclaimed Emmy award-winning singer, listens to RCC's Vocal Jazz ensemble during a special audition.

Ensemble director John Byun works his magic

Jon Secada, internationally known Grammy award-winning singer, was back to listen to Riverside City College’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble this year.

He did so in such a low-key fashion, there was barely 20 people in the auditorium.

There was no fanfare and it was clear he was there just for the students.

Had I not read on one of the lists I’m subscribed to as a part time-instructor on the main campus, I would have missed the opportunity to watch passion to share, artistry and humility in action inspiring a new generation of very talented singers.

Full of praises like “You are one of the best ensembles I’ve ever heard,” “You are so tight,” “You guys sound amazing,” Secada also praised a beaming John Byun, the director of the ensemble, for his program.

Making Criticism sound like Advice

As a teacher myself, I enjoyed watching him cajole, tease and coax to get just the results he wanted.

From my perspective, someone totally focused on my viewfinder, I could not figure out who was singing lead for the first few bars.

It made sense when I listened as Secada asked the lead singer to take charge to step forward during the solos when she was featured.

Jon Secada answers questions during the vocal workshop with RCC's Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Watch this short video clip of Jon working with Corianne Little who sang the lead for the song,
More than words

RCC Vocal Jazz Ensemble members are:

  • Kathryn Shuman, Erika Jackson, Mikaela Elson – Sopranos
  • Emily Jackson, Mimi Jacobsmeyer, Corianne Little – Altos
  • Ryan Newton, David Manuel, Jess Barrera – Tenors
  • Steven Amie, Josue Jurado, Alex Van den Boogaard – Basses
  • John Byun-Director

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On a personal note, I hardly ask celebrities to be in pictures with me. What can I say? I handle rejection badly.

All those years of working in the media covering various events where autograph seeking is looked upon with disdain has lasting effects, I suppose.

On this occasion, I certainly identified with the “teacher.” I’m sure I don’t need to tell them what a shot in the arm this must be for those lucky students of RCC’s Vocal Jazz ensemble..

6 thoughts on “RCC Vocal Jazz Ensemble performs for Jon Secada”

  1. Hello Windsor,
    Thanks for stopping by and saying hi. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the video and the pictures. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

  2. Dear Pete,

    Thank you for putting together the RCC Jazz Ensemble with Jon Secada presentation, I enjoyed it very much. Jon Secada has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I will take your presentation as a Christmas present. Happy holidays to you and your family.


  3. @Paul,
    If you have a collection of pictures of you and celebrities, you could have a page on your blog or website just for that. I don’t. Bummer about the cloud cover, no lunar eclipse down this way too.

  4. Nice images and video Pete.

    On a side not, I have a photo of me and Drew Carey when he came to Aspen for the 2005 HBO Comedy Arts Festival. Good times.

  5. Hello Danny,
    Thanks for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. It’s always wonderful to know there are artists like Jon Secada who are so passionate about their craft and that they are so willing to teach and share with others. May I ask how you came across this blog post?

  6. That is pretty awesome!! Definitely a fan of his work and good to know he’s a pretty good guy outside of the spotlight 🙂

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