“Let’s Go to the Movies”
A Movie-Musical Style Jazz Film

Stephanie Prestage, School of Music, Theatre & Dance

The Blue Note Vocal Jazz Ensemble is thrilled to present “Let’s Go To the Movies” to digital audiences everywhere! It has been a challenging school year for student artists to create with one another; this has especially impacted ensemble groups like ours whose work relies on collaboration and communityThough we are far apart in distance, the creation and presentation of this project is bringing us closer as students and collaborators of the University as we lead each other through this learning experience and hone our crafts as student artists learning in a global pandemic. The thirty students involved, which span from SMTD, LSA, to Ross, are all viewing this project as not only an opportunity to showcase their artistic passions, but also as a valuable experience of sharing America’s most timeless musical genre, jazz, with the ever-changing digital world. “Let’s Go To the Movies” will be a thirty-minute film inspired by the songbook movie musical era, with a storyline told through vocal jazz repertoire, narration, and dance. Our music and choreography direction team will lead the cast ensemble members in rehearsals held entirely over Zoom for a six-week period, utilizing the aid of BandLab, a virtual collaboration platform that allows us to use a digital audio workstation which edits in real-time from miles apart. Members will individually pre-record the vocal and instrumental parts of all of the film repertoire with our audio mixer, who will place our vocals over the film. All scenes will be shot by our videographer in various locations throughout the Ann Arbor area chosen and organized by our co-producers. We have chosen a program paying homage to the pioneering groups of vocal jazz such as Take 6, Manhattan Transfer, and the New York Voices, as well as paying tribute through our movement, created by our choreographer, to bring out iconic moments of the movie musical period. Themed around different representations of love and heartbreak and how, coupled with music, they may help one live another day, “Let’s Go To the Movies” is an invitation to let go of life’s worries and swing into the jazz world on screen regardless of what form of love might resonate most with the viewer. Whether it be writers, narrators, vocalists, pianists, percussionists, bassists, videographers, graphic designers, or producers, we are elated to showcase the talents and passions of students from all over the University. Each creator will bring something different to the table with their talent; a new perspective, a new set of skills, a new passion. Our team is dedicated and committed to collaborating and learning from one another during a global pandemic, and eager to create art for all communities to enjoy.In moments of adversity, we will remind ourselves of our grand mission: to bring entertainment and joy through the arts to digital audiences through the medium of timeless jazz music.