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SMC's Beckwith concert to become annual event

Southwestern Michigan College’s annual Pops Concert hit the road St. Patrick’s Day to Beckwith Theatre in downtown Dowagiac. The SMC Jazz Ensemble directed by Dr. Jonathan Korzun and the SMC Vocal Jazz Ensemble directed by David Carew performed to a packed house at 7:30 p.m. March 17. All proceeds benefit the Beckwith’s fundraising campaign for a new roof and other building renovations.

Jazz Ensemble selections include Benny Goodman’s classic “Stompin’ at the Savoy”; Thelonius Monk’s “Well You Needn’t,” featuring Berrien Springs High School graduate Glenn McFarland on tenor saxophone; Christopher Keech, SMC saxophone instructor, on Frank Sinatra’s “Come Fly with Me,” featuring vocalist Nicholas Ferragut, a Lakeshore High School graduate; “Whiplash” by Hank Levy (featured in the movie of the same name); “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise,” featuring Keech on alto saxophone; and Stevie Wonder’s hit, “I Wish.”

Vocal Jazz Ensemble’s selections include two Beatles arrangements, “Blackbird” and “In My Life”; a Latin arrangement of The Turtles’ “Happy Together”; and several vocal solos.

Daryl Runswick arranged “Blackbird,” Steve Zegree John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s “In My Life.”

Alan Gordon and Gary Bonner wrote “Happy Together,” arranged by Greg Jasperse.

Soloists included: Jessica Admave, “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down” by Sonny Bono; Allison Roberts, “What I’m Doing Here” by Rachel Price; Zach Allyn, “Consequence of Love” by Gregory Porter; Jasmine Ehlert, “Sky Lark,” words by Johnny Mercer, music by Hoagy Carmichael; Thomas Melcher, “Human” by Rag n’ Bone Man; and Gabby Smith, “Nature Boy” by Eden Ahbez.

The Jazz Ensemble featured Bruce Anderson on keyboard, Glenn McFarland on set and Kenneth Creameans on bass.

Korzun expects to make a Beckwith concert an annual event.