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|Paynesville Press - March 9, 2005|
Sixth graders to sing musical about jazz
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.|
"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.
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!
Cast of Characters
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