Jade Eaton-Heagle can handle an audience.
The 15-year-old has been singing for over a decade. Live performances, she says, are no problem. But what happens when no one is listening but a microphone?
“It was extremely terrifying,” she said. “But it was a great experience to have and I hope I can continue.”
Eaton-Heagle is one of five L.V. Rogers jazz music students to have recorded their first album, Lockdown Fever.
The LVJ5, which includes Aaron Pasacreta (piano/keyboard), Jake Maslak (bass), Tamias Elder (drums, vocals) and Nicolaj Bucher (trumpet), recorded the six-track album in March at the Nelson high school’s music room.
The band’s director Michael Perkins said the album came about as an alternative to performances, which they can’t do during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Normally these guys would be performing all over the place,” said Perkins. “They’d be doing things for the administration here, the school district, different functions. Because they couldn’t do anything like that, I thought a unique ending project for the year would be to put together a CD.”
Perkins had the students do everything but engineer the album. They picked the tracks, learned about music production, designed a cover and liner notes, and worked with local band Rumour Mill, who recorded and engineered Lockdown Fever.
Recording was a new experience for Elder, who sings with Eaton-Heagle on their rendition of Fever. Born into a musical family, he started playing violin at age four and has been learning drums for about three years. But he’d never had to lay down a track.
“It was difficult at times, but it paid off,” said Elder. “I can show this to people and say, ‘I made this in Grade 10.’ I’ll be 25 and be like, ‘yeah, that was fun.’”
Eaton-Heagle said in addition to learning to live with a microphone, she is also still getting used to the genre.
“Jazz singing, it gets a different register in your voice and it just brings out the soul of it,” she said. “It’s just more about hitting it with more intensity. It’s just a bit of a rougher quality, for me anyway.”
The group had 100 copies of Lockdown Fever printed, but those are just for family and friends, one of whom includes LVR principal Ben Eaton.
“I think it just demonstrates the amazing involvement of Mr. Perkins as well as just the amazing abilities of our students. I think any opportunity we have to showcase that is an opportunity that we are excited to offer.”
Lockdown Fever is available on streaming services including YouTube Music, Spotify and Apple Music.
Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.