Talented kids and Christmas Cheer was the fare at the Sonora Aronos Club Christmas party. I, a stranger, was met with a gathering of friendly faces, ballroom dancing, food and music by Summerville High School’s Jazz @ 8 under the direction of Jim Wells, music teacher.
At every table, people were eating or had finished eating and were enjoying conversation with friends. Eden and Barbara Ligsay made me feel right at home and described their Ballroom Dancing Club: “We’re just like a family.” It reminded me of the familial spirit of square dancing clubs I’ve belonged to-before my husband died.
One of the first things I looked for, “Is it a wooden floor?” It was. Dancers all know a wooden floor is the best for dancing. The group is composed of all ages.
The tree is a treat since I have no room for one in my house. I’m glad to enjoy someone else’s.
Before the music started, I met Ashley, a bright, smart 15 year old member of Jazz@ 8 Choir. I was seated next to her mother.
Most of the kids were chowing down before they began the entertainment.
Ashley and her mother introduced me to Adam, The Elf. He is a student friend and supporter. He doesn’t sing with the choir.There is something special about potlucks and home-made Christmas desserts. Everyone likes to bring what they do best. Yum.
It was time for Jazz 8 to strut their stuff. Five sopranos, four altos……and six base singers.
Director Jim Wells, a smidge of his back to the camera on the right, is very laid back and humorous. Most of the music is cappella. They are a swing “band” when they have recorded music to accompany them. The group performed some very interesting variations on Christmas Carols, roundelays and mixed medleys. And, a Johann Sebastian Bach number that Old Johann would not recognize.
While many dancers got up and enjoyed dancing to the music,
…an equal number just sat an enjoyed the entertainment.
They sang a Penataonix arrangement of Mary Did You Know. I’ve heard it done as a solo and it gives me the chills of emotion every time I hear it.
The listeners enjoyed the program as much as the dancers, Ashley’s mom and me. My favorite tune was a Michael Jackson number called the Smooth Criminal, oh my, just before Christmas?
As for the Aronos Club, I saw one in San Francisco years ago and I knew it was a Women’s Club. But there was no history on either the Sonora or San Francisco Club on-line that I could find. I just remembered that the San Francisco Club only allowed women. If anyone knows the history of these Women’s Clubs, let me know. I’m curious.