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Paynesville Press - March 9, 2005

Sixth graders to sing musical about jazz

By Michael Jacobson

The Sixth Grade Choir from Paynesville Area Middle School will stage, "We Haz Jazz!," a mini-musical about the history of jazz, on Monday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium.

directing group "Jazz is OUR MUSIC... the music of America!" write John Jacobson and Kirby Shaw, authors of "We Haz Jazz!" "From New Orleans to Chi-Town, from the cotton fields to the Cotton Club, you will learn about such jazz greats as Fats Waller, Cab Calloway, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, and Thelonius Monk."

Choir director Cheryl Bungum gives instructions to Riff (Mitchell Meed), Ann (Alyssa Schmid), Ellen (Brianna Zenner), Melissa (Melissa Hawkinson), and Susan (Shelby Goltz) during a rehearsal for "We Haz Jazz!"

The story follows Riff (Mitchell Meed), who is a jazz lover, not just a jazz liker, as he attempts to introduce his peers to jazz music. A host of jazz greats - Charlie Parker (Devin Koerner), Tommy Dorsey (Ethan Brown), Benny Goodman (Kristine Hoeft), Ma Rainey (MaKayla Gottwald), Louis Armstrong (Matthew Lenzmeier), Dizzy Gillespie (Travis Hislop), Count Basie (Garrett Thompson), Billie Holiday (Kristyn Osterhaus), Duke Ellington (Kirsten Landmark-Masih), Bessie Smith (Briana Soine), Joe Oliver (Matthew Doom), Ella Fitzgerald (Kayla Youngs), Mary Lou Williams (Katrina Haagenson), and Thelonius Monk (Josh Buermann) - comes to life to help Riff introduce jazz to his peers.

music The mini-musical is an extra performance for the Sixth Grade Choir this year. Sixth graders have been working on the music since Christmas and chose speaking parts in January, said director Cheryl Bungum, who meets with the sixth grade boys for 20 minutes on Mondays, with all the choir members for 20 minutes on Wednesdays, and with the sixth grade girls for 20 minutes on Fridays.

The Sixth Grade Choir - front, Devon Koerner and Matthew Doom; middle, Kirsten Landmark-Masih and Crystal Roberts; back, Shelby Goltz, Briana Soine, and McKayla Gottwald - have practiced their mini-musical since Christmas. They will stage it on Monday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m.

The mini-musical has six songs and should run just over a half hour. This week, the Sixth Grade Choir will get extra practice time in the auditorium in order to stage full rehearsals of the mini-musical.

We Haz Jazz!
Monday, March 14, 7:30 p.m.
The Sixth Grade Choir from Paynesville Area Middle School will present "We Haz Jazz!" on Monday, March 14, at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. Admission to the half-hour show is free.

Cast of Characters
(In Order of Appearance)
Riff: Mitchell Meed
Susan: Shelby Goltz
Ann: Alyssa Schmid
Melissa: Melissa Hawkinson
Ellen: Brianna Zenner
Charlie Parker: Devin Koerner
Tommy Dorsey: Ethan Brown
Benny Goodman: Kristine Hoeft
Ma Rainey: MaKayla Gottwald
Louis Armstrong: Matthew Lenzmeier
Dizzy Gillespie: Travis Hislop
Count Basie: Garrett Thompson
Billie Holiday: Kristyn Osterhaus
Duke Ellington: Kirsten Landmark-Masih
Scott Joplin: Matt Frenchick
Bessie Smith: Briana Soine
Bobbie: Jessica Leverington
Josie: Jackie Skoglund
Fran: Taylor Hendrickson
Joe Oliver: Matthew Doom
Rose: Emily Magedanz
Betty: Kelli Fuchs
Cindy: Crystal Roberts
Ella Fitzgerald: Kayla Youngs
Mary Lou Williams: Katrina Haagenson
Thelonius Monk: Josh Buermann
Hobos: Rachel Fuchs, Jenna Kincaid, Mary Jo Prentice, Holly Twedt-Coulter, Bridget Weber
Soloists: Jessica Leverington, Jackie Skoglund, and Taylor Hendrickson
Rap Solos: Matthew Doom and Garrett Thompson
Director: Cheryl Bungum
Costumes: Colleen Pelton

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