Soundcheque, Mason’s premiere Vocal Jazz Ensemble, performs traditional jazz standards in both A Cappella and combo versions, in addition to new works and compositions written by ensemble members. Numbering around 15 voices, this group performs frequently for events on campus and in the community, as well as in tours and featured concerts each year. The newest vocal jazz groups are Timesquare and GM Unit, groups that perform styles ranging from broadway doo-wop and tight harmony with vocal percussion.
The Vocal Jazz groups have toured throughout Virginia and the Eastern seaboard from DC to New York City. The groups have also appeared abroad at the Vocal Jazz Summit in Mainz, Germany, and more recently in a choral exchange with the Universität der Künste (University of the Arts) in Berlin, Germany, performing Duke Ellington's Sacred Service with choirs, jazz bands, and tap dancers.
Touring activities for all ensembles include travel throughout Virginia, as well as participation in U.S. music festivals in Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, and New York City. Mason students routinely participate in performance opportunities abroad, with ensembles or individually. Students have performed in London, England; St. Moritz, Switzerland; Florence, Italy; and Cologne, Germany. Through Mason’s Study Abroad program, students are offered wonderful opportunities to take intensive language and music courses in cities around the world.