UNC’s Jazz Spooktacular brought the funk and the fright

The University of Northern Colorado hosted its Jazz Spooktacular on Halloween night in the Campus Commons. Photo courtesy of Morgan McKenzie.

The University of Northern Colorado hosted its Jazz Spooktacular on Halloween night in the Campus Commons. 

People of all ages came for live music, dancing and a costume contest. The UNC Funk Lab played funk songs keeping the crowd grooving during the two-hour event. They performed several Halloween hits, such as “Ghostbusters” and “Superstition.” A rendition of the performance of “I Put a Spell on You” from the movie “Hocus Pocus” occurred.

The UNC Funk Lab of 12 performers showed up in costumes. The band is fronted by three female singers. During the show, the singers encouraged people to dance and even told a few spooky jokes between songs. One of the jokes was, “Why didn’t the skeleton go to the party? He had no body to bring with him.” 

Ellington Herniak, a UNC sophomore jazz piano major, went to watch the UNC Funk Lab perform. He said he loved getting to spend time with his fellow music students and professors. 

“In my opinion, live music is the key to making any social function that much more enjoyable,” Herniak said. “When the UNC funk lab plays, you know you’re in for a treat no matter what your musical taste may be.” 


A special guest made two appearances during the Funk Lab’s set. Devon Olds, dressed as a vampire, sang “Monster Mash” and “Thriller” with the band. He made a grand entrance by walking down the steps reciting the ending of “Thriller” to end the show. 

Jason Loing, a UNC sophomore studying sports and exercise science, came to see the UNC Funk Lab for the first time. He came dressed as a burglar to watch one of the lead singers, who is in an a cappella group with him.  

“For me personally, I really like the music aspect and seeing performances,” Loing said. “You get to see what the School of Music is up to and see it in such a creative and cool way.” 

Most people who attended the event were in costume. Some kept it simple, while others went all out in hopes to win the costume contest. 

The costume contest occurred towards the end of the night. Two students dressed as a venus flytrap and a toothbrush were the finalists of the contest. The crowd cheered the loudest for the man in the toothbrush costume. He won a box of candy as his prize. 

Other than music and a costume contest, the room was filled with different things to do. There was a photo booth open for anyone to get their picture taken. The pie café stayed open late for the event. The “Yucca Fountain” exhibit was also open from 4-9 p.m. for attendees to visit during the Jazz Spooktacular. The exhibit contained pumpkin painting, lawn games, trick-or-treating, a spooky sock-hop, a scavenger hunt and a separate costume contest.

The Jazz Spooktacular event ended at 8 p.m. as people cheered one last time for the funky performance put on by the UNC Funk Lab.


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