Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


December 23, 2009

Here are a few from 1989 and 1990… more to come!


1991: Captured Alive

June 6, 2009

12/23/09 ETA: Marcus Connaghan and Sam Montooth have kindly provided the mp3s and liner notes for Captured Alive. Thanks, guys!

01 – I’ve Got The World On A String
02 – Happying
03 – Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most
04 – Oo-Shoo-Be-Doo-Be
05 – Night In The City
06 – Georgia On My Mind
07 – Jeannine
08 – Tenor Madness
09 – Spain

Click to listen, or right click and choose “save target as” to download songs.



Cyndi Ness
Carrie Smith
Lori Ward
Maren Brown
Jennifer Larsen
Marjorie Oblites


Debra Hind
Arifa Khursheed
Leanna Rodgers
Shervaughnna Anderson
Geetanjali (Toby) Datta
Anne Marie Mays


Gabriel Irwin
Samuel Montooth
Edward Vicedo


Daniel Locke
Marcus Connaghan
Roy Hamilton


Mark Massey


Anders Swanson


Aldo Bentivegna


I’ve Got The World On A String – Marjorie Oblites, Roy Hamilton, Mark Massey
Happying – Jeff Kashawa, Saxophone
Spring Can Really Hang You Up The Most – Lori Ward, Maren Brown, Jennifer Larsen, Debra Hind
Oo-Shoo-Be-Do-Be – Jeff Kashawa, Saxophone
Georgia On My Mind – Roy Hamilton, Anders Swanson, Mark Massey
Jeannine – Mark Massey
Tenor Madness – Aldo, Anders, Mark, Art, Jennifer, Ed, Leanna, Lori, Marcus, Marjorie, Cyndi, Roy, Anne, Toby, Gabe, Maren, Debi, Danny, Carrie, Arifa, Sam, Shervaughnna, Anders, Aldo


Producer and Director: Arthur LaPierre
Recording Engineers: Martin Brenner and John Vestman
Mastering Engineer: Doug Doyle, Digital Brothers
Graphic Design: Jason Wishnow
Printing: McPherson Printing
Recorded at Trianon Recording Studio

This year’s Polytechnic High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble had quite a year. In our short time together we performed at more than fifty shows. After many hours of intensive rehearsals and a few warmup shows in the Fall Semester we flew to Washington, D. C. to perform for the International Association of Jazz Educator’s Annual Conference. After the IAJE performance we went back to rehearsals and local shows to prepare for festival season and to raise money for this CD.

After winning the Fullerton College Jazz Festival we performed at Disneyland’s Carnation Plaza. A performance at the local jazz club, Birdland West, was very exciting yet still not the highlight of the year. Our performance at the prestigious Playboy Jazz Festival in the Hollywood Bowl was the most rewarding experience. Our ensemble is the first and only high school vocal jazz ensemble to earn this honor! Los Angeles Times’ renowned jazz critic Leonard Feather said of our Playboy appearance, “They succeeded in… blending impressively in challenging arrangements.”

Because this is my final year at Polytechnic High School I want to make sure that everyone who has supported the choral music department understands that without you our success would not be possible. For example, this CD was funded totally by students, parents, and friends. The Long Beach Unified School District and the Polytechnic High School Administration did not assist the students or me in any way. Good luck to all the continuing choral music students and parents. I know that you will carry on our fine tradition!!

Thank you to Mark, Anders, and Aldo for always being there when I need you. Thank you to Marty for being so generous with your time on this project! Thank you to John for your positive reinforcement. Thank you to Michele Weir for writing three of the arrangements on this CD and the one that got away. Thank you to Kathy Welke for caring. Thank you to Barbara for putting up with my work schedule! Most importantly, a very special thank you to the members of the 1990-91 Vocal Jazz Ensemble – you were the best of them all – integrity, dedication and talent.

What A World.. What A Life!

Art LaPierre
Long Beach, CA

1990: Just In Time

June 6, 2009

On to 1990! I know less about this group since I had already graduated, so 1990 or 1991 folks, fill us in! Based on the Facebook photo, members included: Stephanie Harris, Julie Brown, Cyndi Ness, Marcus Connaghan, Roy Hamilton, Lisa Vucci, Edward Jay Vicedo, Danny Locke, Christine Wigen, Jesse Irwin, Christine Tasche, Maren Brown, Noel Neptune, Lori Ward, Toby Datta, Jennifer Larsen, Kelly Cooper, John Park, and Lisa Nestor.

01 – Stompin’ At The Savoy
02 – Joy
03 – Green Dolphin Street (Danny, soloist)
04 – Skylark (Kelly)
05 – Hurry On Down (Lisa, soloist)
06 – I’ll Be Seeing You
07 – Watch What Happens (Lori, soloist)
08 – Jada (Julie and who else? Maren? Lori?)
09 – Walk Softly
10 – Shaker Song (Lisa, soloist)
11 – Just In Time (Lisa, soloist)

Click to listen, or right click and choose “save target as” to download songs.

I’m going on memory with these soloists, so if I’ve miscredited anyone or left anyone off, let me know!


12/23/09 ETA: Marcus Connaghan provided the liner notes for the CD, so here they are!



Maren Brown 1,2,3,5,8,9,11
Kelly Cooper 2,3,4,5,9,11
Jennifer Larsen 2,3,4,5,9
Cyndi Ness 1.2,3,5,7,9,11
Elisa Vucci 1,2,3,5,6,7,9,10,11
Lori Ward 1,2,3,7,8,9,11


Julie Brown 5,8,9
Geetanjali Datta 1,2,3,5,6,7,9,1
Stephanie Harris 1,5,7,9
Lisa Nestor 2,3,5,7,9,11
Christine Tasche 1,2,3,7,11
Elisa Vucci 11
Christine Wigen 1,2,3,5,9


Roy Hamilton 1,2,3,5,6,7,9,11
Jesse Irwin 1,2,3,5,7,9
John Park 1,2,3,5,7,9
Ed Vicedo 1,2,3,5,7,9,11


Marcus Connaghan 1,2,3,5,7,9
Danny Locke 1,2,3,5,6,7,9,11
Noel Neptune 1,2,3,5,7,9


Stompin’ at the Savoy – Anders Swanson, Bass
Joy – Mark Massey, Piano
Green Dolphin Street – Danny Locke
Skylark – Kelly Cooper
Hurry On Down – Elisa Vucci
Watch What Happens – Lori Ward, Vocalmark Massey, Piano
Jada – Mark Massey, Yamaha DX7-I1
Shaker Song – Elisa Vucci, Vocalmark Massey, Piano
Just In Time – Elisa Vucci


Producer and Director: Arthur Lapierre
Recording Engineer: Martin Brenner
Mastering Engineer: Doug Doyle, Digital Brothers
Recording Studio: California State University, Long Beach
Photo Courtesy of Sanford Studios

I had planned to use this page to write a biography of the past Polytechnic High School Vocal Jazz Ensembles; however, after the most unusual circumstances that occurred while producing this CD, I think it will be of interest to let you in on what it took to complete the project. While we knew that recording a CD would be a little harder than an album, we never expected the roof to fall in. But that’s exactly what happened! While we were recording at California State University, Long Beach, the Gerald R. Daniel Recital Hall collapsed. We were in the hall the evening before to record I’ll Be Seeing You, when we noticed huge cracks in the ceiling. We left!

And just in time. Hence, the title track, Just In Time.

I want to thank all of the members for their commitment. The ensemble stayed together long enough during the summer for me to search for other studios and to eventually build a makeshift studio. With half of the group embarking on their first college summer, they still managed to stick it out to get this project completed!

Thank you to everyone who helped put it all together. I especially want to thank the parents for their great kids and for supporting our work. Thank you to Mark Massey, Anders Swanson and Aldo Bentivegna for their musicianship and friendship.

Thank you to Toby, Danny and Arifa for always being there. Thank you to Kelly for your extra commitment and for all those phone calls. Thank you to Carrie for your eyes. A special thank you to Lisa for being able to do it all.

Thank you to Martin Brenner for your very professional sound advice but NOT for feeding my paranoia (just kidding, Marry). Thank you to Donald Para, Chairman, Department of Music at California State University, Long Beach. Your commitment to the music community is appreciated by the choral music students at Polytechnic High School. Thank you to Barbara for waking up to listen to mix after mix.

I hope that you will enjoy this CD, and hear that we just need to ask high school students to excel and they will!

Art Lapierre


June 6, 2009

1989, the year I remember best! Evelyn Albor, JiAe Kim, Julie Brown, Christine Wigen, Jami Valt, Lisa Vucci, Lorie Enfinger, Gina Casalegno, Valerie Prunetti, Mariflo Joy Lacson, Kevin Gidden, Chris Krug, Danny Locke, Jason Miller, Jesse Irwin, Dave Parmeter, Noel Neptune. Did I miss anyone?

01 – New York Afternoon (Lorie and Kevin, soloists)
02 – Walk Softly
03 – Sunny Side Up (Danny, soloist)
04 – A Sleeping Bee (Lisa, soloist)
05 – Jubilee
06 – Bassically Speaking (Dave, soloist)
07 – When Sunny Gets Blue
08 – Moonglow
09 – All God’s Children (Jami)
10 – Embraceable You (Julie, Lorie, Chris, Dave – right?)

Click to listen, or right click and choose “save target as” to download songs.



June 6, 2009

Moving right along… 1988. That year, I know Amy and Jenny were members, as well as Marnell Raykoff (her name is now Navah Raphael), David Brown, Gwen Larsen, Alison Bloeser, Dave Parmeter, Lissa Richardson, David Smith, Dyan Yoshikawa, Molly Bennett, Tiffany Drake, Eileen Everett, Pat Kelly, Eric Anderson… who else?

01 – Put On a Happy Face (Amy Settle and Eric Anderson, soloists)
02 – Georgia On My Mind (Chris Shuford and Pat Kelly, soloists)
03 – Tangerine (Gwen Larsen, soloist)
04 – Goodbye Love (Amy)
05 – Four Brothers (David Brown, Amy Settle, Gwen Larsen, Pat Kelly, soloists)
06 – Get Happy
07 – Skylark (Gwen)
08 – Bali Hai
09 – DC Farewell (Dave Parmeter, soloist)
10 – Make Someone Happy
11 – ‘Round Midnight (Dave Smith and Dave Parmeter, soloists)

Click to listen, or right click and choose “save target as” to download songs.


June 5, 2009

Let’s start at the beginning. This is Long Beach Poly Vocal Jazz I 1987. I know Eric Anderson and Jeff Schimsky were in this group. Who else? Chris Shuford? Holly (last name?), David (Smith?), Pat Kelly… Were Jenny Beddow and Amy Settle in the 1987 group, or just 1988? Enjoy!

01 – How High the Moon
02 – I’ve Got You Under My Skin
03 – Seems Like Old Times
04 – Jim, Jam, Jump
05 – I Remember Clifford
06 – My Funny Valentine
07 – Tuxedo Junction
08 – Cockles & Mussels
09 – Since I Fell For You

Click to listen, or right click and choose “save target as” to download songs.

testing 1, 2, 3

June 5, 2009

Jubilee (To download, right click and select “save target as.”)

This is actually Santa Monica College’s group recorded in 2006, not the ’89 VJI group. (I’m singing first alto in there somewhere.) I just wanted to test out the upload process.

hey, 1980s Vocal Jazz alumni!

June 5, 2009

Have you been pining for your high school vocal jazz days? Wishing you still had a tape recorder on which to play that ancient tape? Wanting to hear the sound of your own voice? Well, now you can!

Seriously… I used to love listening to the old tapes, and I knew they were likely to start falling apart, so several years ago, I got a friend to digitize the Vocal Jazz I recordings from 1987, 1988, and 1989. (I think starting in 1990, they were recorded on CD.) Over on Facebook, there have been some discussions about the old tapes, so I thought I’d post the recordings here so anyone who wants can download them. Chime in if you can remember members’ names, soloists, etc. I’d be happy to upload the 1990 and 1991 albums, too, if I can find them. I have no idea if VJI recorded past that.

If you’ve done any other singing/recording in the last two decades, I’ll bet fellow alumni would love to hear it. Maybe we can add those recordings, too. (Oh, and if anyone wants to add his or her two cents about beautifying the site, have at it.)

I’m off to figure out how to upload everything and hopefully make it esay to access. Back soon with a blast from the past!

Jami (Valt) Messinger