Jazz Vocal Ensemble

The Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble, directed by Dr. Darden Purcell, is the award-winning jazz vocal group of George Mason University. Founded in 2014, this group has performed at Jazz 4 Justice concerts, Mason Jazz Vocal Nights, Go Green Gala (for Representative Don Byer), Law Day (for Virginia State Bar president Ed Weiner), George Mason University Men’s basketball games, Kansas City Jazz Summit and the JENerations Jazz Festival and were a featured group at the 2018 JEN conference in Dallas. Members of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble have had the privilege of being featured with the American Festival Pops Orchestra, directed by Tony Maiello, the Mason Jazz Ensemble and Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, directed by Jim Carroll and singing back-up vocals for Indie pop star, Ben Folds with the National Symphony Orchestra (Wolf Trap), Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Myerhoff Center) and Virginia Beach Symphony (Sandler Center).

MJVE video screen shot

Click photo for full video – Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble performs “The Kicker”

Spring 2018 Jazz Ensemble Auditions (current Mason students) 

  • Monday, January 22 (9am – 5pm) and Tuesday, January 23 (9am – 5pm) in PAB 336.
  • Instrumental Piece:  Four
  • Instrumentalists:  Play the melody for one chorus and improvise for two choruses. In addition there will be sight-reading on the audition. Please bring your own musical accompaniment/backing track for iPod, Phone or CD player. (Bring adapter if your phone does not have a headphone jack)
  • Vocalists:  Sing one song of your choice (jazz preferred), sight-read a solo musical line and sing a brief tonal melody test. Please bring your own musical accompaniment/backing track for either iPod, Phone or CD player.
  • Visit the SEATING PLACEMENT AUDITIONS page to sign up for an audition.
  • If all audition slots are filled, please e-mail Dr. Darden Purcell.

CONCERTS – Spring 2018 

  • Thursday, January 4, 3pm: Jazz Education Network (JEN) Conference – Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble (Hyatt Regency, Dallas, TX)
  • Saturday, February 10, 8pm:  American Festival Pops Orchestra, Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble (Hylton Performing Arts Center, Purchase Tickets
  • Saturday, March 10, All Day:  Mason Vocal Jazz Festival w/ Jennifer Barnes and Rosana Eckert (Harris Theatre, Details and Registration: Mason Vocal Jazz Festival)
  • Tuesday, May 1, 8pm:  Mason Jazz Vocal Night (Center for the Arts, Purchase Tickets)


IMG_0983The Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble one of two groups awarded “Outstanding Ensemble” at the Kansas City Jazz Summit, April 2016, hosted by John Stafford at KCKCC. “Outstanding Musicianship” awards were also given to Kyra Larson, Sarah Moyers, Huy Ngo and Khanh Ngo.