A (100%) Un-Official Review of EHS’s Current Jam 2008
Before writing this review, I’d like to take a moment to give what my experience is and tell you that I AM IN NO WAY A CRITIC OR PROFESSIONAL REVIEWER. What I’m writing is just my opinion.
Ok. My “experience” isn’t much, but its enough for me to see differences in between different levels in the music groups. I’ve been to every single choir concert this year, minus the opening day and last day of Current Jam. I also went to the final orchestra concert, Pops twice, and the final Concert Band concert, all of the musicals except for Midsummer Night’s Dream, and I’ve stayed with the band for all of the jazz/varsity concerts (yeah, some people leave). My point is that I’ve been to a good number of musical events, and participated in many pep-band events beyond required, and of course, all of the band concerts for symphonic band. Basically, take this review how you want to, but don’t hold me accountable for anything. I’m just having some fun with what I see and don’t see. Summary and Review after the break.
With that all said, lets begin! Current Jam is one of the major events for Edina’s music every year. Put on by the Concert choir members, it is given a lot of effort and aid by all the choirs and the school. They use the Fick Auditorium to but the event on. For the concert, a company is hired to do the professional lighting, and another for the video / audio. I don’t know, but I suspect it was one of the private companies that created the moving background effects for in between songs with the titles. Upon entering Fick, you’ll notice a slight fog in the air. This is for the light effect where you can see the beams of light that are being projected. To get to your seat, you will need to find either a reserved seat or general, depending on what you bought. The reserved seats, $14/ea., consist of the two front center sections, and the middle back section. General admission, $7/ea., is the outer two in front and the outer two in back. When the show is about to start, the lights dim, eventually off, and blue lights come on for the first song, 121. I give 121 a 4/5. Where did it loose a point? Not in the singing, actually, but in the backup music. While all of the music was good, it was just a little too loud sometimes to hear the choir as clearly over it. The next song was “Leave the Peaces”. The song was sung by Candice Jones and Anna Morton. Leave the Peaces was also in Happenin’ this year by a different group from one of the other choirs. I have to say that this group was much, much better, but don’t get me wrong about the first group either . I have no noted remarks on the next song “Brightly Wound”, and that means it was good enough that I didn’t pay attention to thinking at all for the entire song. After that the full choir came back for “Day Tripper”, originally sung by the Beatles, and I give them a 5/5. I could have been mean about a rough start on the Friday performance (namely in the percussion section . . .), but it didn’t distract from the song and the little beat issue was fixed in a couple seconds. The song was very well sung by the entire choir. Don’t Go Breaking My Heart was next, sung by Tom Diehl and Elizabeth Schulze. Backups for the song were Ali Dahl, Caroline Goan, and Caroline Triggs. The way they did this had both singers on piano, and they both had fun clothes. It was very well sung, and had a ton of energy. Lollipop was next by Elie Carlile, Hannah Dolan, Candice Jones, and Anna Morton. Again, very well done. Although a few spots weren’t perfect, it was very fun. Next up was the Men’s chorus. They had two separate songs, There’s Nothing’ Like a Dame, and, What’s New Pussycat? . These songs were done with a ton of energy, and were incredible fun to watch. Mamma Mia, sung by Carah Claflin, Ali Dahl, and Carolyn Triggs, was next. I liked this better on friday night than thursday, probably because on thursday I hadn’t expected the different keyboard sound. All in all, a good song. Now the next song was funny and amazing at the same time. Lovestoned / I Think She Knows was done by a group of guys (Andy Bartz, Cashin Berard, Ton Diehl, John Evans, Matt Leer, Barrett Lynner, Erik Nelson, David Reese, and Andy Wolfe), and was 100% vocal. Beats and all. They really did a great job of keeping it together and keeping everyone at the exact same spot. I’m not going to talk about the next song “A little More You” because I have no notes besides that the song was well done. Higher Ground, then, was sung by the whole choir with soloist Joe Magnuson. I gave a 4/5 because of it being a little hard to understand what was being said at times, mostly from the backup music. Still though, very good job. I didn’t like samson. Not because of the singer (Laura Galarneau), she was fine, but the song didn’t seem to fit the program in general, in my opinion. Falling Slowly. This was also done in Happenin’. This time, it was a major improvement from the other group’s version. Tommy Glass and Carrie Nelson did an amazing job with this song. Finally before the break, Stayin’ Alive was done by the whole choir. This gets a 4.5 /5 because of hard to hear at a couple spots, but otherwise was very good and entertaining.
The Second half of Current Jam began with The Way You Make Me Feel (all choir). This was a great start to the second half, especially on friday. Fallin’, sung by Kari Klingsporn with Back up singers Anniessa Antar, Carah Claflin, and Ali Dahl, was done very well, and very clean sounding. 9 Crimes followed, and again, was a song I didn’t much like only because of the song itself. The singers (Linnea Bullion and Chris Mode) however, were very good. The Concert Choir Women were up next with Sweet Dreams Are Made of This, to which I have a 4/5 because of volume of back up. Next was Breakfast at Tiffany’s. This was done by another guy’s group (Singers Spencer Duhaime, and Mikey Spencer; back ups John Eppel, Col Erlandson, Scott MacDonald, Tommy McCann, Bill Rodgers, and Matt Schroeder), and was all vocal. This was a great arrangement, and the singers were just great. Everyone was on the same beat again, and on key. Next was Talk to Me, sung by Judith Kostroski. Again, a very good singer. Now we’re at the third and final large group that isn’t the choir. Because this group is so large I won’t list the names, but they sang Hide and Seek. It was great. The same perfect timing was present there.
Now it was time for the senior pictorial tribute. This was a good presentation that was accompanied by the concert choir singing Times of Our Lives, with Elizabeth Schulze on Piano. At the end, all the seniors stood up. Congratulations to all of the seniors.
The General was next sung by Mikey Spencer with Doug Schulze on Back up. It was good, but there was too much bass over the singers. Candy had the same bass issue, but was better. Very good, and sung by Anniessa Antar, Ali Dahl, Caroline Goan, Kari Klingsporn, Elizabeth Schulze, and Carolyn Triggs.
Now we come to the final two songs in the show: Take On Me, and Everyday. Take On Me was very good, and gets a 5/5, and Everyday was the same way, getting a 5/5 again.
So my final review is that Current Jam was very well done, and featured a lot of really good singers. If you didn’t get a chance to see it, you missed out. If you did, I hope you agree with some of the things that I wrote about the songs, and if you don’t, feel free to comment. I can’t wait to go again next year and see what is better, worse, or just simply changed. I would recommend going next year in advance. One final thing . . . if you read this entire summary / review, then you need to comment .
A couple videos of the songs (from original artists)
Breakfast at Tiffany’s: