La Verne jazz concert features Mt. SAC choral group

By Imani Tate, Staff Writer

Singcopation, Mt. San Antonio College’s multiple award-winning choral ensemble, and the Bonita High School Jazz Ensemble will highlight the jazz concert presented by the La Verne Cultural Arts Society at 7 p.m. Saturday in The Meeting House at Hillcrest.

Tickets are $20 per person for the concert showcasing the musical talents of teens and young adults in the Inland and San Gabriel valleys. Advance tickets may be purchased through Paypal at If still available, tickets can also be purchased at the door of The Meeting House, 2705 Mountain View Drive.

The Bonita band, directed by instrumental music educator Jeff Bird and including freshmen to senior students, opens the evening with a program featuring songs by Ira and George Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn, Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, Doug Beach, Paul Lohorn and Les Hooper.

The Bonita ensemble has performed at concerts, festivals and private parties throughout Southern California. Bird, who completed a bachelor of music education from Ohio’s College of Wooster and a master of music education at the University of North Carolina, has taught at Bonita for 11 years. Also a professional bassist, Bird also plays in XNA, a progressive rock band, and sings lead vocals in The Shepherds of Lies, a Genesis tribute band.

Singcopation, a 13-voice choir, has repeatedly wowed audiences in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, won a record-setting nine Downbeat jazz magazine national polls as the best collegiate choir in the United States and twice won Monterey Jazz Festival’s Next Generation Music Festival. The latter distinction also made Singcopation the nation’s best college jazz choir. It has won standing ovations from pioneering performers, legends and master artists at International Association of Jazz Educators conferences, the L.A. Vocal Jazz Workshop, New York City’s Lincoln Center.

The group recently returned from a successful tour to Guangzhou, China and won the platinum medal at the first Xinghai International Choral Competition.

Bruce Rogers, an internationally renowned choral conductor and Mt. SAC’s choral activities director, has conducted the Walnut community college singers and international choirs in America, Wales, Australia, England, France, Italy, Germany, Canada, Scotland, Austria, Bulgaria, China and the Czech Republic.

For more, read Tate’s story JAZZ

Mt SAC students of distinction honored on May 17

Mt. San Antonio College will honor 20 Students of Distinction at its annual awards ceremony and luncheon on Saturday, May 17 at 11:30 a.m. at the Royal Vista Country Club, 20055 E. Colima Road, in Walnut. 

These annual awards recognize students for competitive, academic, and personal achievement as well as outstanding service to the college. Recipients of this year’s Academic Achievement award, who earned a minimum 3.75 GPA, are Aldo Hadiwijaya of Corona,  Sijin Yan of Covina, Veronica Chavez of Baldwin Park, andEunice Briët.

Recipients of the Service Achievement award, who earned a minimum 3.0 GPA and provided notable volunteer service to the college and community, are Cinthia Rios of Hacienda Heights, Cynthia Nunes Robinson of Rancho Cucamonga, Edgar Morelos of Pomona, and Melissa E. Candell of Pomona. 

Recipients of Personal Achievement award, who were selected based on a minimum 2.75 GPA and overcame personal hardship, are Alexandra Nina Latorre of Pomona,Chloekae B. Nepomuceno of West Covina, Heather Dawn Melendez of Upland,Jayson Amrit Heyer of La Verne, Jazmin Salgado of Baldwin Park, Nicholas Ryan Lazzareschi of Brea, and Rhonda S. Walker of Chino Hills.

Recipients of the Competitive Achievement award, who earned a minimum 3.0 GPA and earned distinction as part of a competitive student group or team, are Adrian Ramirez of Ontario, Brody Goens of Chino Hills, Edward Isao Sanchez of Covina,Nathan Kenji Pike of West Covina, Tiziana Ruiz Dominguez of Murrieta. 

Tickets for the awards luncheon are $15 and must be purchased by May 6 through the Student Life Office: (909) 274-4525.