“An Unforgettable Trip” – Choir Students Travelled to New Orleans


Credit - FHS Choir(fairviewhs.org)

Fairview Choir Students at Festival

Julia Frank and Kristen Sheng

On Tuesday, January 6th, to Friday, January 10th, two jazz choirs, Age of Guinevere and Excalibur, went to the Jazz Educators Network’s Annual Conference in New Orleans. 

Age of Guinevere is an incredible women’s jazz choir, and to this day is the only all women’s jazz group to sing on the main stage at the conference. Excalibur is another fabulous choir that is made up of some of the best singers in our school. Both choirs had the opportunity to sing at the conference this year, as well as watch many different jazz groups perform.

“It was really cool to just be immersed in jazz, and also different types of jazz instead of just vocal jazz,” said sophomore Emma Kraft, who is in Age of Guinevere. 

The students, along with Travis Keller, Janice Vlachos, Zach Coles and parent chaperones, attended conferences and concerts all throughout the week. Jazz concerts of all types were scattered around the hotel and ran until one-thirty in the morning each day. 

“We basically just hung out at the hotel and watched super talented people perform jazz, both on vocals and instrumental,” said junior Quinn Hirshland, a member of Excalibur. 

Age of Guinevere and Excalibur performed on Thursday as part of the Generations Jazz Festival. 

Each choir performed a number of songs and got a clinic session. Age of Guinevere got to perform “I Saw Love Today” with its writer, Lauren Kinhan. Excalibur sang “Do You Want to Know What I Want” by the New York Voices. The writer, Lauren Kinhan, was in the audience, and Peter Aldridge, who is in New York Voices, was one of the choirs’ clinicians.

“You’re singing for the person that performed your song and wrote your song, which is this unreal feeling,” said Choral Director Janice Vlachos. 

As well as attending various different jazz events, the choirs got to experience the history and festivities of New Orleans. Some students explored the French Quarter, others went to Bourbon Street, while another group went to the World War II Museum. 

“Overall, the trip was just a really great experience. It was cool, too, because outside of just jazz, we got to go see New Orleans and the history,” said Kraft.

Similarly, junior Helena Neufeld, who is in Age of Guinevere, said, “We kind of got to run around the city and see what was up. It was tons of fun.” 

Age of Guinevere and Excalibur went downtown to see many street performers, as well as different jazz performances in restaurants.

“It was just a big community of people who were really into jazz, which was really fun for us to experience,” said Neufeld. 

The experience was meaningful and emotional for the students, teachers and chaperones. 

This trip taught the choir students a lot, not only in terms of jazz but also about the culture of New Orleans and creating a community. Learning about the history and life of jazz and New Orleans created an unforgettable trip for choir students and teachers.

 “I think what’s hard for me to put into words is just, watching their faces through the whole thing,” said Vlachos. “Seeing them experience all the different things, and feeling so proud of themselves for singing so well.”