Pilot story and photos by Bill Schlichting
Sea Breeze vocal ensemble packed the Performing Arts Center in Harbor for its final concerts of the school year Wednesday and Thursday nights, bidding farewell with their usual "Happy Trails."
Known as Sea Breeze Revue, the concert provides the students a venue to show their talents after a year of classroom instruction and performing. Unlike other choirs at Brookings-Harbor High School, students must audition to participate in the jazz choir.
The group performs at school concerts, community events, athletic contests and festivals in Oregon and California.
The choir's engagements this year have included singing at a patriotic event at the port in September, participating in the District Jazz Festival in Coos Bay, presenting the first Christmas Revue at a coffee house, singing carols at Rogue Valley Mall in Medford, delivering more than 50 singing Valentunes and competing in the RAVES Jazz Festival in Redding, Calif., where it came home with not only a second-place trophy, but also a cash award for demonstrating excellent behavior both on and off stage, said Jerry Moffit, director.
Starting the concert last week, the full choir sang "Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter" and "Moonglow."
The performance was followed by several soloists, including "Mack the Knife" by Stewart Riddle and "Head Over Feet" by Jessie Fairchild. All songs were accompanied by Moffit on piano, Danny Greenwood on bass guitar and Chris Seamons on drums.
Debra Hirjak, singing "Sugar Baby," was joined by Kevin Shepherd playing tenor saxophone.
Travis Alcorn sang a humorous song by comedy musician Ray Stevens. He sang "Can He Love You Half as Much as I Do?" which he jokingly said was dedicated to the girlfriend who left him. His performance included armpit noises.
Lauren Johns followed the act to sing "Don't Know Why," followed by "Hold Me, Thrill Me" by Nick Troendle and "Shadow of Your Smile" by Abby Vandermeer.
In a rare occurrence, Moffit showed his talent by singing "I Heard It Through the Grapevine." Joining him was Shepherd on tenor saxophone.
Azalea Princess Jaime Sanders treated the audience to the song she performed at the pageant for the talent portion "Hey Big Spender."
The next songs were sung by the full choir, and included the classic Glenn Miller song "In the Mood," a song that would not be complete without the sound of the trombone played by Shepherd. Anthony Parada joined him on trumpet.
Also performed by the choir was "I'll Be Seeing You," which was sung a cappella.
Returning to the stage was Johns singing "At Last" followed by Stewart Riddle impersonating a blind musician singing "I Just Called." His performance included pretending to play keyboards.
Heather Robinson sang "Orange Colored Sky," accompanied by trombone and trumpet, followed by Fairchild singing "Only Hope." Her performance was done with the stage lights turned down to show a lighted mirror ball.
Singing a Christian music classic by Keith Green was Troendle. The song was titled "Dear John Letter (to the Devil)."
Following "Lullaby of Birdland" by the entire choir was, as Moffit said, every song written by The Beatles. Missing was "Yellow Submarine." When the choir got to the "la la la la de dah da" portion of "Hey Jude," the singers walked down the aisle.
Moffit then announced that "this is the portion of the concert where we asked former Sea Breeze members to come on stage." The choir and alumni sang "Happy Trails," the group's longstanding closing song.