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, Byron Stripling, Bobby Floyd, Bria Skonberg, 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
- Minor – Jazz Studies
- Bachelor of Music – Jazz Studies
- Master of Music – Jazz Studies
- Doctor of Musical Arts (Jazz Emphasis) Email Dr. Darden Purcell for more details.
JAZZ ENSEMBLES – Open to all University students, regardless of major, based on audition
- Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble – premier jazz vocal choir with rhythm section
- Jazz Ensemble – big band soloist (fulfills large ensemble credit)
- Jazz Workshop – big band soloist (fulfills large ensemble credit)
- Jazz Combos – small group soloist
- Latin American Ensemble – soloist
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!
- 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)
- 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
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
RECITALS – All recitals are free and open to the public
- Monday, OCT 21, 8pm: Juan Megna, DMA percussion (Harris Theatre)
- Saturday, NOV 23, 2pm: Tom Mulherin, MM piano
- Saturday, DEC 7, 4pm: Eljhaie Brathwaite, Junior steel pan (Choral Room)
JAZZ ENSEMBLE AUDITIONS – Fall 2019 (current Mason students)
- Instrumental Piece: There is No Greater Love
- 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
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).