Bagirova Zemfira and Alex Keller study a difficult passage in “Watermelon Man” during a rehearsal at Idyllwild Arts. In the background is choir instructor Kristina Pradd. Photo by Marshall Smith

As cross discipline cooperation continues to expand at Idyllwild Arts, new opportunities for students to work outside their major disciplines continue to grow. One of those opportunities is the relatively new jazz choir.

The eight current members come from a variety of disciplines — the relatively new songwriting major, the jazz vocal department and the creative writing department. The choir is usually under the direction of Anne Farnsworth, who is currently on teaching sabbatical in Latvia. Now in its second year, the choir performs arranged vocal jazz, riffing on classic jazz songs like Herbie Hancock’s “Watermelon Man,” Lionel Hampton’s “Little Red Top,” Billy Strayhorn’s “A Flower is a Lovesome Thing,” and Latin tunes such as “Casa Forte” by Edu Lobo and “Mas Que Nada” by Jorge Ben.

Subbing for Farnsworth this semester is Danish jazz vocalist, bandleader, arranger and teacher Kristina Pradd, a Berklee College of Music and University of Sourthern California jazz studies graduate. Pradd said her goals, in her one semester with the choir, are to have her students sing together as a blended ensemble and to find the joy and fun in the music.

“I want my students to enjoy singing, swinging and to blend together as one,” she said. “I want them to be able to communicate with and entertain an audience through improvisation, love for and involvement with the music.”

The jazz choir members are senior Erin Breen, creative writing major, junior Dante Yardas, creative writing, senior Bryce Wilson, songwriting major, senior Alex Keller, jazz vocal major, freshman Bagirova Zemfira, jazz vocal major, senior Brian Shin, jazz vocal, junior Sabrina Melendez, creative writing and junior Emily Jimenez, jazz vocal major.

The choir’s next public performance is at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, at the IAF Theatre.