Ambassadors and Jazz Band perform at Genesee Valley Mall

Sydney Bommersbach, Writer

PHOTO Catherine Haynes
Sophmore Haydn Sondgeroth performing his solo Noel at the Jazz Orchestra Band concert on Dec. 9. They have another concert Dec. 15.

Crinkling shopping bags, the dinging of checkout stations and roar of talking are sounds that typically fill the air in the Genesee Valley Mall. Although on Dec. 15, the Jazz Band and the Ambassadors decided to change that by playing a christmas set right in the mall.

“We played songs like “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, “Herald Angel Swing”, “A Big Band Christmas” and “Santa Baby”,” sophomore Cray Dumeah said. “My favorite song would have to be “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch”. I just love that slow swung, really laid back kind of jazz.”

Practicing their Christmas set since the start of Nov,, students from both the Ambassadors and Jazz Band felt more excited than nervous about playing or singing what they prepared, even though this setting was different.

“All of our concerts are typically held in the Ruby Zima auditorium, so we are performing on the stage,” sophomore Reese Strawsburg said. “This event is different because it will be the first time we have played together with the Ambassadors and also the first time we’ve played at the mall, or in any setting that is different from a stage.”

After stepping off of the buses and unloading their instruments, the students were set up in chairs outside of JcPenney’s. Many of the performers were surprised by how well their sound was projected through the part of the mall they played in.

“I performed my alto saxophone solo during the song ‘No L in Swing’ and it was my third time doing it, but by far my favorite,” said sophomore Hadyn Sondgeroth. “I played everything as I had practiced and it all echoed off the mall walls which made it sound even better.”

However, this unconditional set-up didn’t throw the students off and was part of reason for taking the trip to begin with. Leaving their Fenton comfort zone gives both groups a different audience that they might not receive in the auditorium.

“It was a valuable experience because it helps our groups to be better known by other people around Michigan,” junior Jacob Kinser said. “When people asked us where we were from and told us how great we sounded, we are glad to represent a community like ours.”

With people were coming through, passing by and getting last minute shopping done, many also slowed their hustle to hear the groups play. The performers goal was to spread holiday cheer to everyone who passed by.

“I was really surprised at the amount of people that stopped and stayed to watch us play,” sophomore Natalie Harmon said. “I think they really enjoyed hearing all of our Christmas music. It definitely had a positive impact on the holiday spirit and I would love to do it again.”

This event was only one performance of many for the Ambassadors and the Jazz Band. Anyone hoping to catch one last holiday show before winter break can visit the Ruby Zima auditorium on Dec. 21 at 7:30 p.m. to see the Ambassadors, Varsity Vocals and Bella Voce perform.