The University of North Texas Jazz Singers is the premier vocal jazz ensemble within the Division of Jazz Studies in the College of Music. Under the direction of Jennifer Barnes, Jazz Singers consists of twelve to fifteen vocalists and a four-piece rhythm section who perform a challenging and varied repertoire of jazz and jazz-influenced music, emphasizing close vocal harmonies, cutting-edge repertoire and improvisation. The ensemble was awarded “Outstanding Performance” as a Graduate-level Jazz Choir in the 2012 DownBeat Student Music Awards, and has been named the Collegiate Jazz Choir winner numerous times under the leadership of founding director, Paris Rutherford. UNT Jazz Singers has performed at state, national and international music conferences and festivals, including those for the Jazz Education Network, International Association for Jazz Education, the American Choral Directors Association and the Texas Music Educators Association. UNT Jazz Singers is one of four vocal jazz ensembles that are part of the comprehensive Vocal Jazz Studies major at UNT, which comprises a global student population of 40 – 50 students who pursue Bachelor’s, Masters and Doctoral level degree programs.
||Recent performances include:
• The Millenium Stage at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C., Fall 2011)
• The Midwest Clinic (Chicago '08)
• Int'l Assn for Jazz Education
(2005-New York, 2007-Toronto)
• North Texss Jazz Festival
(annually, Addison, Texas)
• Sammons Jazz Series
(2005 and 2008-Dallas)
• Texas Music Educators Association
(2006, San Antonio)
The vocal jazz program, in existence for over 30 years, focuses on strong performance skills, composing/arranging for vocal and instrumental ensembles, and on training as educators. Former members of UNT Jazz Singers perform in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Nashville, Toronto, Orlando, and are on university faculties across the United States and in Canada.
Avenue C, Third Street and West End (formerly Jazz Singers II, III and IV)
Avenue C, Third Street and West End are also complete vocal jazz ensembles in the Jazz Studies Division, directed by our Graduate Teaching Fellows. Differences between the four levels of ensembles include size of the group, composition of the group (all females or all males, for example), and repertoire focus. Avenue C rehearses from 12:00 - 12:50 pm. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays); Third Street rehearses from 5 - 5:50 p.m. Mondays & 2:00 - 2:50 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; West End rehearses from 5 - 5:50 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays & 1 - 1:50 p.m. Fridays.