by Julie Parkins
Jeri Brown and her students plan to take you on a musical journey into
the past. Brown is directing her jazz repertoire class, along with the
jazz choir The Conchords and members of her private studio, in an original
musical called Bring Em Back.
Written by Canadian musician Ron Paley, with lyrics by Alexander Marshall,
the musical highlights the sights and sounds of the 1940s.
Its about two radio DJs doing a radio show in space. They
have this guy come on the show who wants to go back in time to see the
big bands and he has this device that does it, explained student
He meets this girl in the 40s, and they end up falling in
love. Basically, its a big musical with numbers about bringing back
the Big Bands and combining them with todays pop music.
The jazz repertoire class presents a production every year, with students
acting, singing, playing and dancing as well as assuming production roles.
Its all part of learning the ropes, and being ready to perform in
a variety of roles when they graduate.
It gives us experience for the future, all of us, said Sabine
Dieudonne, who besides dancing and singing in the show is responsible
for publicity. Whether we are actors, or singers, performers or
artists, it gives us courage to do something like this later on.
A student choreographer, Kamela Brownrigg, helped with the production
of the show, which delighted Brown. Im also a choreographer,
and its been delightful to sit back and watch a student go forward
and work with another student, she said. Sometimes it doesnt
gel just the way youd like, but they have loved her and she has
helped them bring out all sorts of things.
Browns own jazz choir, The Conchords (Concordia, chords get
it?), will open both acts with a combination of gospel and jazz, and Brown
is keen to introduce them to the public.
I think that with the weather getting cooler, people want to get
warmed up. The jazz choir starts with energetic music from the gospel
tradition, including Earth, Wind and Fire, and Aretha Franklin, and then
we go right into the play, she said.
We will have an intermission, and then the choir will come back
and inspire us again before act two. Its a rollicking evening of
Bring Em Back will be presented at the Oscar Peterson Concert Hall
on November 13, 14 and 15. Admission is free for students and $5 for the