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Jazz and Pizzazz at Chantilly High

Featuring the Touch of Class Show Choir and Chantilly Jazz, Chantilly High's 21st annual, Jazz and Pizzazz show will be presented this Thursday-Saturday, May 24-26, at 7 p.m. each night.

It's a high-energy, razzle-dazzle, rock-the-house extravaganza that's looked forward to each year — not just by the students — but by the community and alumni, too. And for good reason.

"It's all about the students doing what they love to do — make music," said Choral Director Glenn Cockrell. Band Director Keith Taylor calls it "one of the best displays of teen-age talent around."

"WHAT'S COOL is the energy and synergy between the choral and band students," said Taylor. "They feed off each other's talents." And it's a fast-paced show; as one tune ends, the next one's starting."

Reserved seats for this popular show are $10. And if any are left, they'll also be sold at the door. Call Joyce Resua at 703-478-6382.

This year's theme is "Makin' the Big Time," along the lines of Broadway stories about a small-town boy and girl who try for show-business success, encounter obstacles, try harder and eventually make it.

"We're doing our full-out production with lights, costumes and set," said Cockrell. "There'll be solo and group numbers, and we'll cover a broad spectrum of musical styles, tastes and genres."

Show Choir has 20 singers/dancers, and more than half are seniors. And they've all worked long and hard to bring Jazz and Pizzazz to the stage.

"We start in the fall and keep adding new sets of music all year," explained Cockrell. "Then we bring all these things together at the end of the year in one, big production. We typically sell out Friday and Saturday, but we'd like to do it all four nights. We'd really love the community to come and see the kids do their stuff."

There'll be Broadway tunes from "A Chorus Line," "Spamalot," "The Producers" and "Dream Girls." And there's even a special, audience-participation number. Show Choir alumnus, Sarah Pramstaller, who's been working professionally on Broadway, did most of the choreography.

FROM THE 1970S will be songs including, "Listen to the Music" and "I've Got the Music in Me." Jazz standards and swing tunes include "Swing Street," "In a Sentimental Mood" and, with the jazz band, "Paper Moon."

Some 22 students comprise the Chantilly Jazz, and Taylor says they, too, will perform a wide variety of music, "from rock to funk to Latin to big-band swing — it covers the gamut." There'll also be solos on trumpet, sax, clarinet, piano, drums, trombone, bass and guitar.

The musicians will perform tunes from greats such as Duke Ellington, Gordon Goodwin (big band) and Natalie Cole. And, said Taylor, "We have fantastic soloists on trumpet, sax, clarinet, piano, drums, trombone, bass and guitar."

"These are all professional-level charts, and my students are knockin' 'em out," said Taylor. They, too, have rehearsed many, long hours, since school began. And, said their proud director, "No matter the year, the kids step up and carry on the great tradition of playing difficult, challenging and new material very well."