National recording artist and American Idol 2nd runner-up Jax brought smiles and laughter to the audience at Spanish Fork High School Thursday, January 11, at the Celebrate the Arts concert. The concert, presented by Prime Mortgage Lending, also featured local American Idol alum Katie Higley and the Spanish Fork Junior High School advanced orchestra.
Jax connected with the audience made up mostly of families by starting off her set by singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with Higley’s pre-school son. She had an easy rapport with the audience throughout her set, singing a variety of classic hits from the Beatles, Janis Joplin and other artists as well as some songs she’d written herself. When the concert was over, young fans eagerly lined up to talk with her and get her autograph.
Jax first rose to fame in 2015 when she competed on American Idol. In January 2017 she released a new EP titled Funny.
Spanish Fork musician Katie Higley competed on American Idol Season 6 and is rumored to be participating in the American Idol ReBoot starting on ABC in March. Higley delighted audiences with renditions of Soul Sister and Somewhere Over the Rainbow, but really shone when singing the jazz piece Orange Colored Sky.
Higley debut a song she co-wrote, Tested and Tried. “There’s at least one person in everyone’s life that you can turn to for anything . . . just being with them makes your relationship that much more special,” she said of the lyrics. The song was a favorite with the audience.
The Spanish Fork Junior High orchestra gave an impressive performance of three numbers on their own, and one finale number with Higley and a young soloist, Sibley Snowden. Both Higley and Jax said they were impressed by the caliber of performance of the young orchestra.
Conductor, Angela Harman said her students inspired her to be better. She was grateful for the opportunity the concert, put together by Prime Mortgage Lending Area Manager and orchestra parent Gregg Driggs.
At the end of the show, Prime Mortgage Lending founder John Rodgers presented a check for $2,500 to a surprised Harman. “Thank-you so much!” she said. She joked about it being the biggest check she’s ever gotten. “I love what I do and I love serving your children,” she said.
The sound and technical crew were professionals from West Coast Show Support. The set and lighting reflected the concerts rock theme. “It was so fun to see the stage transform,” Harman said.