Frontline Goes to Reno

Mt. SAC’s Frontline will travel to Reno, Nevada to perform at the Reno Jazz Festival at the University of Nevada on April 26-28. Frontline is one of Mt. SAC’s two vocal jazz groups on campus. Formed and directed by Professor William McIntosh in 1999, the group consists of talented students with different musical backgrounds that include hip hop, classical, and barbershop.

Starting in 1962, the Reno Jazz Festival is one of the largest jazz events in the country that involves both vocal and instrumental jazz. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Reno Jazz Festival is known as “showcasing music’s future.” Competing against both universities and community colleges, Frontline has placed in the top three numerous times, achieving a ‘back-to-back-to-back’ first place streak from 2014-2016.

McIntosh started his career way before he was at Mt. SAC.

“Before Mt. SAC, I was at a high school where I taught algebra, world history, AND three choirs. I was losing my mind,” McIntosh said.

After teaching at that high school, he went to Long Beach Polytechnic High School and taught his very first vocal jazz group after the old director had to suddenly leave, while getting his masters at Cal State Long Beach at the same time. He started at Mt. SAC in 1999 when Bruce Rogers, director of the award winning Singcopation and Chamber Singers, asked him to start a second vocal jazz group.

“My first Frontline group was full of people with bad attitudes.” McIntosh said. “They thought they were too good for the group,”

McIntosh is not only the director Frontline, but also for the all male acapella group, Fermata Nowhere and a classical choir,Concert Choir, while also teaching two history of jazz classes. One of McIntosh’s greatest passions, though, is arranging music.

“I have to hear something in the tune that I know will make a good arrangement.” McIntosh said. “If not, then I won’t arrange it.”

McIntosh arranges tunes not just his Frontline group, but also for Fermata Nowhere.

For 18 years, McIntosh has taken Frontline to the Reno Jazz Festival. One way he likes to motivate them is by being humble. His goal this year is to grab all the “superior” rating that the judges have to offer.

“I don’t like going up there expecting to win.” McIntosh said. “I always tell my students to shoot for the superior ratings. It’s not always about winning.”

For students interested in joining Frontline in the 2018-2019 school year, contact William McIntosh at [email protected]