Returning from summer break this year, many Seattle Academy students were surprised to see the brand new Clear Touch boards which were installed during the two months off. These massive SMART Board replacements were hung throughout the STREAM and even in a few Temple classrooms.Read More
Almaz, an Ethiopian immigrant, came to the United States with only 50 dollars in her hand and is now the proud owner of the University Market.Read More
Fourteen seniors wowed the crowd with their touching and personal poems on the evening of November 7.Read More
Grammy-nominated producer Amos Miller started working at Seattle Academy during the 2016-2017 school year. Miller, who had produced for Macklemore and many other artists, decided to bring his talents to a high school to teach youth about a different kind of rap.Read More
The vocal rooms were the site of a strange occurrence last week. Lake Lewis was practicing for Stine, his character in the musical City of Angels.Read More
Next month, Mike Haykin, Seattle Academy's Director of Learning Support, will depart for Yellow Wood Academy on Mercer Island after 20 years of outstanding work at our school. Elise Hebert '20 sat down with Mike for an interview.Read More
As their culminating task before stepping out into the “real world” and beginning internships, Seniors who took Creative Writing during spring trimester collaborated to create a website featuring student poetry and short stories.Read More
Amy Underwood and the lunch program met their greatest opponent on a drive up to the Temple in 2009. They hadn’t guessed that this opponent would be chili.Read More
The jazz choirs at Seattle Academy have become well known for their musical talent, but many people forget who makes the jazz choir program what it is. Mark Hoover is the head of the vocal jazz program at SAAS, and he has quite the musical background.
From the age of five, Hoover studied piano and sang in church choirs. In high school, he not only became the accompanist for his school’s choir, but helped form a rock group which played local high school dances. In 1978, Hoover went to college in pursuit of music. “That’s what I was passionate about,” says Hoover. In 1975, he went out on the road with a top 40 band called Second Wind. They played clubs mostly in the Northeast.
Hoover encouraged Second Wind’s horn section to cover songs by rock band Chicago and Blood Sweat and Tears. “They liked being on the road, but didn’t like to work as hard as I wanted to,” Hoover says, “I needed to find people who were more devoted and serious about music, which made me pursue music education.”
In 1987, after speaking with a Seattle Academy alumnus, Hoover decided to apply for a job here and became the music teacher. After years of slowly developing the vocal program, Hoover received an arrangement from Darmon Meader, one of the members of the jazz quartet named the New York Voices. Meader’s arrangement made Hoover fall in love with vocal jazz.
The vocal jazz program started as an after school program that anyone could participate in. The 2001-2002 school year yielded the first jazz choir class, but it took many years for the program to become recognized. In 2010, the jazz choir went to the Reno Jazz Festival for the first time. On their second trip to Reno, In 2011, “We won first place in our category, and that was unexpected,” says Hoover, “We were the smallest school. We didn’t think we would be recognized due to these ambitious jazz programs we competed against. The work we were doing was at a higher level then we realized.”
Mark Hoover created this program from nothing, and the program’s success has shown in the many awards the jazz choirs have earned. He has devoted his life to music, and he has a good reason why: “I think music is the purest expression of the human spirit other than complete silence.”