Many of you may think that the E building is just a random structure near the edge of campus. It’s covered in golden fall leaves and you may see an occasional student enter and exist in a hurried pace to the next class. Things look almost normal and appear quite. But don’t be fooled; stand a moment longer and you’ll hear a sudden uplift of voices and a piano to keep the melody. It almost seems to come from nowhere. Then it begins again louder and with more passion as if the voices are being urged on to realize their passion.
What you’re hearing is the Bellevue College choir. But great guidance and feel for passion in choir can’t be possible without music department chair and the Director of Vocal Jazz Ensemble Celebration, Thomas Almli.
Almli can often be found in the practice music building. where there are rooms where music is shaped by students and given an identity to each person. It was there that Almli talked about music and choir through his own eyes and experience.
“I direct 2 choirs the director jazz ensemble celebration and the concert coral, bolth of those groups have concerts every quarter.” The jazz choir and jazz band are having a jazz night concert Nov. 2 at 7:30 p.m. “This is significant because we don’t have them working together that often.” Almli also commented on the rumor of cut backs a question with music that has come up each year.
“One cut back we did have was our chamber choir we had made this year, which also included the class vice and pop choir that came out of that.” Almli also talked about students interest and which direction students can go to shape their talents if unsure where to start.
“We usually have about 200 to 300 student per year annually involved with vocal groups on campus.
If they are just starting out it depends on their interest but we encourage them to take a couple of different classes that we have Class voice for beginning singers, beginning choir, class guitar with various levels as well as class piano. We’re also connected with the Bellevue community band for more instrumental seekers.”
Upon graduating, student can expect to not be disappointed as Almli confirmed : “We have one of the highest level vocal jazz groups in country, we have been selected to perform at the national educators conference more than any other group in the country. So we’re either performing with or competing with some of the most prestigious four year colleges in the United States. Our music student get into some of the most prestigious colleges in the nation.”
Almli is no snail when it comes to shaping, encouraging and keeping the feel of music going to students who are hot on the trails of musical success. Shortly after a choir class a choir student Leana Ray commented on her experiences with choir and music at BC: “I have been doing it since eighth grade and this is my first term at Bellevue College. Choir is very positive and it’s a great place for you to do your own sense of art. I love it and it makes me happy. I wasn’t able to do it my senior year so it’s great to be a part of it again. It’s laid back here at the Bellevue College and helps you to find you voice while challenging you. Thomas Almli is a great director and he’s very passionate, funny and vibrant. You can immediately tell he has a touch for singing and music.”
With various piano notes being played as student left the room echoed with choir student breaking out in various laughter while some where still trying to hit that last note before setting off on their busy schedule. One could tell it left an atmosphere bringing out something unseen, something musical.
With such a versatile mixture of students all coining together under the vocal flag of music and well equipped with a passionate director, its rest assured they’ll soon all be rising notes in music.