The choir and jazz group MVHS perform in a relaxed setting




Jazz band Moapa Valley High School performed last Thursday night, December 2, at their holiday concert, under the direction of Ted Biggs. Photo courtesy of Natalie Freeman.

It was clear the vacation had arrived in a musical way, as the music department at Moapa Valley High School presented a concert last week featuring the school’s choir and jazz band.

On Thursday, December 2, holiday favorites were on the menu, along with many more. The concert was served in the school cafeteria as well as a potluck. Everything was under the direction of MVHS music teacher Ted Biggs.

The MVHS Choir wowed audiences with four songs including Silent Night, Deck the Halls, Carol of the Bells and Hallelujah, with Erin Cornwall on the piano.

“The choir has already made incredible progress this year,” Biggs said. “This is their third performance of the year, and the students have gone from singing two-part harmonies to three and four pairs.”

Freshman Aiyana Jim said: “It has been a great experience, singing has helped me come out of my shell.”

Eric Bates, whose daughter Katarina Wilson sang in the choir, was also happy to hear the progress. “I love to see and hear all the children playing, it surely brings the Christmas spirit to life,” he said.

The Jazz Band was next. Suddenly the cafeteria looked like a jazz club – the audience getting to eat something while listening to relaxed melodies.

They performed Shuffle Time, Frosty the Snowman, Funky Ol St. Nick and Bari, Bari Good.
When asked why he liked playing in a jazz band, senior Jeremiah Mortensen laughed and replied, “I can hit things that make noise!” “I like that the drums lead the tempo.”

Biggs took a few moments to recognize some of the accomplishments of the talented students. Ten MVHS students have been chosen to perform in the SUU Honorary Band and Choir of Honor, which covers parts of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and Colorado. “I am extremely proud of these students who work hard to develop their skills,” he said. “Most of these children are involved in other activities and sports at our school, and their dedication is evident.”

He also thanked the community for the support given to the music programs, including the teachers and staff, especially MVHS Director Hal Mortensen, who helped secure new instruments, chairs and desks.

To close the performance, the jazz group performed the last track of the evening: Feliz Navidad, as the crowd got into the action and sang.

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Henry R. Wright