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.
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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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..