Jazz Voice

Vocalists pursuing Jazz Studies degrees study the traditions and techniques of vocal jazz performance (both solo and group), jazz improvisation, keyboard skills, theory and jazz arranging.

The Mason Jazz Studies department hosts multiple master classes a year for students and jazz community. Artists include Eric Alexander, Peter Erskine, Doc Severinsen, Peter Bernstein, Byron Stripling, Bobby Floyd, Bria Skonberg, Alexis Cole, Stockton Helbing, and more.

Spring 2020, we are excited to host American composer, Jazz Orchestra leader and multiple Grammy award-winner, Maria Schneider.

Mason Jazz in Brazil! March 2020, Mason Jazz will travel to São Paulo, Brazil for educational outreach events and performances at UNICAMP, Projeto GURI and musical venues. Learn more about this program: Mason Jazz in Brazil


JAZZ ENSEMBLES – Open to all University students, regardless of major, based on audition

CONCERTS – Fall 2019  

  • Sunday, AUG 25, 5:30pm:  Mason Jazz Welcome Back Party (De Laski 3001) – Dinner, Meet and Greet, Orientation, Faculty Concert and Student Jam. Mandatory for Jazz Majors. Encouraged for those auditioning/playing in jazz ensembles. All are welcome, bring a friend and hang!
  • Monday, SEP 23, 8pm & 10pm:  Shawn Purcell “Symmetricity” CD Release Party (Blues Alley) Purchase Tickets
  • Saturday, SEP 28, 5pm: Arts By George (School of Music, De Laski Performing Arts Building) Purchase Tickets
  • Saturday, OCT 5, 7-11pm:  Mason Jazz Guitar Night (Epicure Cafe, cover charge at door TBD, open to the public) 
  • Thursday, OCT 24, 6pm: National Military Family Association 50th Anniversary Gala (MJVE – Willard Intercontinental) NMFA 50th Gala 
  • Monday, NOV 4, 8pm:  Jazz Combos/Steel Pan Ensemble (De Laski 3001, Free admission, open to the public) 
  • Friday, NOV 8, 8pm:  Jazz 4 Justice (Center for the Arts) Purchase Tickets
  • Wednesday, NOV 13, 8pm:  Jazz Workshop (Harris Theatre, Free admission, open to the public) 
  • Monday, NOV 18, 8pm:  Jazz Combos/Latin American Ensemble (De Laski 3001, Free admission, open to the public)
  • Monday, NOV 25, 8pm:  Mason Jazz Vocal Night w/ special guests Forest Park High School, Platinum Vocal Jazz (Center for the Arts) Purchase Tickets
  • Friday, DEC 13, 8pm:  American Festival Pops Orchestra (MJVE – Hylton Performing Arts Center) Purchase Tickets
  • Saturday, DEC 14, 8pm:  American Festival Pops Orchestra (MJVE – Center for the Arts) Purchase Tickets

DEPARTMENTAL CONCERTS (12:30 – 1:20pm, Harris Theatre, Free and open to the public) 

  • Wednesday, OCT 2:  Steel Pan Ensemble (de Laski 3001) 
  • Wednesday, OCT 9:  Jazz Voice Studio 
  • Wednesday, OCT 23:  Latin American Ensemble
  • Wednesday, OCT 30:  Jazz Combos
  • Wednesday, NOV 13:  Jazz Combos


  • Monday, SEP 23, 1:30pm:  Stockton Helbing
  • Monday, SEP 30, 1:30pm:  LADAMA  (Jazz Combos)
  • Thursday, OCT 3, 4:30pm:  LADAMA (Jazz Vocal Ensemble)
  • Tuesday, OCT 22, 3:00pm:  Grammy Award winner Chip McNeill with the Jazz Workshop

RECITALS All recitals are free and open to the public

  • Monday, OCT 21, 8pm:  Juan Megna, DMA percussion (Harris Theatre)
  • Saturday, DEC 7, 4pm:  Eljhaie Brathwaite, Junior steel pan (Choral Room) 


JAZZ ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS – Spring 2020 (current Mason students) 

  • Instrumental Piece:  coming soon
  • 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


Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble – Voice of Reason CD promo. Video by Mason Music alumnus, David Scalea.

Purchase at store.cdbaby.com/cd/masonjazzvocalensemble or e-mail the School of Music for hard copies.


The Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble was 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.

Members of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble sang back-up vocals for indie pop star BEN FOLDS for three shows in 2014!  Performances were with the Virginia Beach Symphony (Sandler Center), National Symphony Orchestra (Wolf Trap) and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (Meyerhoff Symphony Hall).