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‘Great Day’ for campus musicians

High school jazz band students groaned as instructor James Loomis announced the arrival time for their live TV concert: a 5:30 a.m. studio walkthrough at KMPH Fox 26, Dec. 5.

Along with the jazz band, the choir ensemble, directed by Aaron Bryan, will perform Christmas pieces live for Central Valley TV audiences of Great Day. The pianist for campus choral groups, Aarne Kela, will also accompany ensemble for the production.

Both groups aired on Great Day last December, which highlighted the school year for many campus musicians. The event gave students and instructors a taste for their art in a new atmosphere.

“We’re thrilled to present our music to a Valley-wide audience,” Loomis said. “The Fresno Christian educational programs seen live on TV showcase the hard work and talent the students at FCS possess.”

The live program presents an opportunity to promote the free high school and junior high Christmas concert, Dec. 15.

“We look forward to presenting our concert live for those who can attend,” Loomis said. “We appreciate the support of the campus and the larger Fresno community.”

A producer of the morning TV show, Manuel Bonilla offered this appearance to Loomis and Bryan. Loomis and Bonilla attended junior high together and remained friends as they both graduated from Fresno Pacific University.

?This is my first experience with Great Day, so I?m not sure what to expect,? junior Sarah Barnett, an ensemble member, said. ?I?m not looking forward to waiting a long period of time before I get to perform, but hopefully the experience will be worth the wait. There has been a lot of anticipation building up for Friday, so I must say, I?m slightly nervous.?

Both groups have been given three short segments, including an interview with Great Day hosts Kopi Sotiropulos and Kim Stevens. The band’s features will broadcast at 7:25 a.m., 7:55 a.m. and 8:25 a.m., with the choir’s at 8:55 a.m., 9:25 a.m. and 9:55 a.m.

“I’m really excited,” Raine Hayes, ’12, said. “I get to be on TV, and there will be tons of people watching us. I’m just not looking forward to waking up at 3 a.m. to get ready.”

The 18-member jazz band will play “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen,” “Joy to the World” and “What Child is This?” Band favorite, “Joy to the World,” includes piano soloist Chelsea Joy.

“I think the band will do a great job,” Josh Smith, ’11, said. “We did well last year, and it’s an awesome new tradition for our band to play live.”

Ensemble will sing a few traditional Christmas hymns: ?Silent Night,? ?Joy to the World,? ?It Came Upon the Midnight Clear? and ?Go Tell it on the Mountain.?

?This performance is right in-line with [Superintendent] Debbie Siebert?s intention for our school,? Bryan said. ?She has said before that she no longer wants Fresno Christian Schools to be the ?best kept secret in Fresno.’ We are doing our part to represent the school in the best light possible.?

The jazz band and ensemble meet weekday mornings at 7 a.m. for zero period practice. Despite the early hour, freshman Nick Avery believes the hard work is worth the effort.

“I think the band is ready to perform,” Avery said. “It will be fun to be interviewed by Kopi, and we’ve been practicing non-stop for the live show.”

Riverpark Bible Church will host the annual high school and junior high band and choir Christmas concert at 7 p.m., Dec. 15.

For more information on campus musical groups, visit the Oct. 24 article, Parade, concert influence band’s future, the Oct. 21 article, Fall concert unites groups and e-mail James Loomis or Aaron Bryan.

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