Senior Vocalist Jazzes Things Up

First band student to take on singing in upcoming spring jazz concert


Tess Orr

Standing on the stage, senior Karlee Dominguez sings for the jazz band in the auditorium. “I have Been thinking about this for a while, so I talked to my band director and that’s where it all began,” Dominguez said.

The lyrics flow through her head as she plays the trumpet during jazz rehearsal and imagines herself singing to the music.
Her dreams will become reality as senior Karlee Dominguez performs as the first singer in the school jazz band.
“I was quite shocked,” Dominguez said. “I joke around a lot, so when I brought it up and had the idea approved, I was stoked. I didn’t think it would actually happen. I’m very excited, as we are thinking outside the box and not necessarily going by what the usual is.”
New band director Bryce Swift wants his first year to be impactful to the band organization. He wants to make changes that can help to expand the program.
“You have to be able to expose students to new and different forms of the jazz culture,” Swift said. “I had been thinking about [a jazz singer] individually, but Karlee actually came up to me and expressed interest.”
Dominguez’s interest in singing was not only a surprise to Swift but also to fellow jazz band member junior Juliet Quezada, who has known Dominguez since her freshman year.
“When I first met her, I thought she was really quiet, and I didn’t know she sang,” Quezada said. “She seemed really cool, but I was afraid to talk to her. As I got to know her, [I found out that] she is really outgoing, fun and silly.”
Dominguez has been playing the trumpet in the school band since she was in fifth grade and has had to make difficult decisions when choosing how to prioritize her time.
“I also did basketball, and I knew I had to choose between [band and basketball],” Dominguez said. “I chose band, only because I’m a music dork, and couldn’t see myself enjoying anything else.”
Swift plans to have Dominguez perform at jazz band concerts after Christmas break.
“Jazz band is a new experience for me,” Dominguez said. “It is out of my comfort zone, but I will not regret doing this in the end.”
The spring jazz concert will be the first time Dominguez will be performing on stage in front of an audience.
“The reactions of the audience and the rush before you go on to sing is what most interested me,” Dominguez said. “Knowing that everybody is watching [me] is nerve wracking, yes, but it is the best part. It almost feels like magic.”