SCCHS Vocal Jazz will share the stage with Marianas Trench

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Members of the SCCHS Vocal Jazz Ensemble will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to share the stage with Marianas Trench during their upcoming Canadian Tour stop in Regina.

The 16-member Jazz Ensemble won the Saskatchewan portion of the Marianas Trench Face the Music Choir Competition and will be on stage with the band in Regina on Oct. 23.

Ensemble members are obviously thrilled with the opportunity.

"I just think that it's going to be like a really, really valuable experience for all of us as performers, and in our lives. It's a huge honour to be able to represent Swift Current in this way," said ensemble member Kate Spencer.

"They're such a famous group and we listen to them every day," Kurtis Pratt added.

After learning of the competition, the Ensemble began a frantic effort to prepare for the You Tube competition. Ensemble member Dalton Lam arranged a vocal version of the Marianas Trench songs Stutter and Fallout. Lam's arrangements first required him to transcribe the catchy pop songs by repeatedly listening to the music, a coffee aided effort which took until 6 a.m.

"For the most part I was pretty happy with it," Lam said, admitting it was a difficult task attempting to transcribe the rhythyms and harmonies.

The ensemble then began a series of rehearsals in order to prepare a You Tube submission for the band to judge.

"We had to do it in sections. There were parts that were really confusing, like the beginning of Fallout was kind of frustrating," Spencer recalled.

The You Tube entry, which appears at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SrYp2qpC2GY , features Spencer as the soloist on Stutter and Pratt as the soloist on Fallout.

Marianas Trench is launching their first Canadian headlining tour this Friday in Barrie, Ont., and their Face the Music Tour will take them to 14 cities in 23 days. They are touring with opening acts Down With Webster and Anami Vice. Marianas Trench, who formed in 2001, are touring in support of their latest release Ever After, the first CD after their breakout 2009 recording Masterpiece Theatre.

"Overall they're great. They're not just the basic pop singers who sing a few notes here and there. They've got harmonies and everything, a very musical group," Pratt said.

While it is still sinking in that they won the competition, they will shortly be turning their focus to preparing to perform in front of thousands of music fans.

"We're definitely going to have to work on it a bit more. Obviously what we did so far wasn't too bad," she said.

It is also a big challenge for a group which boasts a series of different voices from the Grade 12 dominated group which last had a public performance last June.

"I think that just kind of shows in itself that already, even though it's just the start of the year, we're getting good into our work dynamic and we're working well together," Spencer said.

Organizations: SCCHS Vocal Jazz Ensemble

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Regina, Swift Current

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