ACU vocal jazz students will be performing at Monk’s on Sunday at 8 p.m. for their final exam
Students of Kirstin Ward, the jazz voice instructor at ACU, have spent the semester going over techniques and preparing songs for this performance.
“We really focus on making things our own,” said Sydney Wooton, sophomore social work major from Uvalde. “It’s very different from the other music classes.”
While other music classes such as piano and voice focus on classical and structured music, jazz focuses on scatting.
“Our teacher, Kristin Ward, had us practice a lot of improvisation and scatting,” said Abbie Baird, sophomore youth and family ministry major from Austin. “Which was something I’d never done before.”
When entering a new musical genre, new rules and techniques must be learned.
“Jazz is different from other kinds of music because there are so few rules,” Baird said. “It’s more about conveying a message and getting into it than it is making a performance perfect. A big part of the class is to learn to let it go if something you do with your voice sounds weird, and just go for it.”
Students will not perform alone, however. Each student will perform with a partner.
“You just get used to being put on the spot,” Wooton said. “You learn to listen to your partner and the instruments.”
Despite the nerves that come with any performance, the students are hoping people will come watch the result of their efforts.
“I don’t think I’ll get nervous until the night of. This is one of my favorite things to do,” Wooton said. “So I’m hoping people are there.”
Students are encouraged to attend the performance, grab a cup of coffee and listen to some jazz on Sunday.