Musical fine arts clubs allow for student expression

Here at Stevenson, there is a myriad of clubs ranging from fine arts to community service to everything in between. Among the fine arts clubs include three Jazz and A Cappella groups; Lady Jazz, Jazz Etc.

Alice Nuteson, is in charge of Jazz etc, the only coed A Cappella group. Nuteson has been apart of the Stevenson music department for 26 years including chorus, and extra curricular activities.

“I love working with a smaller group of students,” Nuteson said. “It’s more of a laid back kind of atmosphere, not being in the classroom necessarily and the style of music [jazz] I love.” The group meets once a week for 90 minutes seeing as how busy students can be.
Lady Jazz, an all female A Cappella group, does a lot of jazz as well as newer pop songs for example last year they did the Pentatonix say something Say Something piece. Lady Jazz Director Kirstin Snelten recently took over in place of Joyce Haqq.

“I’m really excited,” Snelten said. “It’s nice to be able to get back into a style that I really like. I don’t feel like it’s anything new for me. I’m familiar with this type of group. I’m excited to work with the kids outside of the class, too.”

Another A Cappella group at Stevenson is Just the Guys. Unlike the other groups the director of Just the Guys is Ken Proice, “[He was] a former student of mine who does a lot of music directing in the community” Nuteson said. “he’s been the [director], for about five-six years.”

As for how the groups differ, each has something different to bring to the table. Lady Jazz has a student that beat boxes, while Just the guys is more pop based and Jazz etc. is more jazz based. Some students have been in the group since they came to Stevenson, while others are fresh faces to the scene. Either way each group has a place for all types of people passionate about music.

Each group does a variety of different music styles as to assure that everyone is happy with what they are singing. “Most groups do a combination of both [music styles],” Snelten said. “Just the guys probably does a lot more pop, but every once in awhile they kind of do something jazzier.”

A member of Lady Jazz since her freshman year, Annamarie Wellems ’17 finds that it is a chance to meet new people with common interests and form special bonds and rituals with. Lady Jazz only meets once a week since students are busy with other extra curricular commitments, but every Thursday offers the group a chance to have a break and just do what makes them happy.

“We go to Walker Brothers before the Jazz Concert and always wear black dresses when we perform.” Wellems said. Lady Jazz is a compilation of 16-20 girls while the chorus classes can upwards from 60 plus students. This difference has a positive impact on the relationships formed in the group and gives the girls a chance to get to know each other on a more personal level.

The groups perform at local music and school sponsored events like pep assemblies and chorus concerts. For example, last year Lady Jazz opened for chapter six which is a professional all male a cappella group.

All three groups have begun to practice for upcoming music events and are excited for what will come out of it. “I think [it will be] a lot of fun!” Nuteson said.