UNT Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop

(This page has been updated as of January 21, 2017.)

Registration is OPEN at http://app.getacceptd.com/untmusic.

The UNT Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop is one of the premier summer workshops of its kind. We will host our 22nd annual workshop on June 18-23, 2017 on the campus of the University of North Texas. The workshop begins with registration on Sunday, June 18 at 3 p.m. and concludes with a final concert on Friday night, June 23, ending at 9 p.m.

Watch this video for an 8-minute preview of what you can expect during a week at the workshop!

All experience levels are welcome, from age 14 - 99! For information on costs, travel, scholarships and other details, please read the information below carefully, including the "FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)" section, which probably will answer most questions you may have.

Also, feel free to visit and "Like" our Facebook page at:
http://www.facebook.com/UNTVJSummerWorkshops

If you have questions about your Registration during or after the process is complete, please contact the Jazz Studies office at jazz@unt.edu.

For one intense week, participants are involved in every aspect of vocal jazz, from solo and ensemble performance to improvisation, pedagogy, songwriting and jazz theory. Educators may attend a daily class devoted to vocal jazz directing, programming, and rhythm section.

  • Everyone is placed in ensembles according to their age and experience. (Middle school through educators and other music professionals. You'll receive your music and recordings to prepare in advance!)

  • Ensembles rehearse daily, preparing for the Friday evening public concert.

  • Classes in theory and improvisation begin with the basics--everyone solos.

  • Solo coaching sessions prepare singers for their evening solo performances.

  • Music educators will have a session each day with Jennifer Barnes that will focus on topics including repertoire, performance aesthetics, rhythm section and sound reinforcement equipment.

  • Jam session at the end of the week to try out improvisation skills with a rhythm section in a "real world" setting.

  • Daily listening sessions to guide participants to both HOW to listen well and what to listen to for inspiration!

  • Songwriting class offered to those with some proficiency in music theory (tested at registration for the week), taught by Rosana Eckert. Skills are learned as well as composing a class song that is performed at the end of the week.

    Workshop faculty for 2017 will include:

    • Jennifer Barnes (Director of Vocal Jazz at UNT, professional singer/arranger/clinician)
    • Rosana Eckert (UNT vocal jazz faculty, professional singer and recording artist)
    • Greg Jasperse (Director of Vocal Jazz at Western Michigan University, professional singer/pianist/composer/arranger/clinician)

      FAQ

      How much does it cost to attend the workshop?
      Full participant tuition: $570
      Auditor tuition: $300
      Tuition for educators who are also attending the preceding VJ Educator Seminar: $400
      Deposit (due at time of registration): $80
      Late fee (if balance not paid in full by May 19, 2016): $30
      Lodging: $145 - 190 for Sunday check-in to Friday check-out (price is higher or lower depending on choice of single or double room, which you'll indicate on your registration form)
      Meals: $140 (3 meals a day for 5 days, additional meals extra)
      Under 18 supervision fee: $35
      Airport ride: $25 each way, $50 RT
      On-campus parking for the week: $6
      Workshop t-shirt: $10
      Additional cost for extra nights of lodging and meals.

      What does it mean to be an auditor as opposed to a "full participant"?
      An "Auditor" will come to the workshop and observe every aspect of what goes on just like the fully registered participants, with the following distinctions:
      1. Auditing participants will not perform in one of the two small jazz choirs (approx. 12-16 singers) on the final concert, although they may perform on the all-workshop piece directed by Jennifer Barnes on that concert. They may also observe all ensemble rehearsals.
      2. Auditing participants will not receive individual vocal coaching or perform solo pieces during the Monday - Thursday evening concerts, but again, are welcome to attend and learn by observing.
      3. Tuition for an auditing participant will be $250 (instead of $495 for a full participant). All other fees (housing, food, travel) are the same whether you are an auditor or full participant.
      This role of being an auditor may be especially desirable for people who:
      1. Do not have time to do any preparation in advance of the workshop, since full participants have to learn ensemble music AND memorize two solo songs PRIOR to coming to the workshop, or...
      2. Have scheduling challenges with being present for the entire day, every day of the week.

      I'm coming from out of town, so into which airport should I fly - DFW or DAL (Love Field)?
      You can fly into either DFW or DAL. DFW is the larger airport that most people use, but either one works!

      How can I get from the airport to campus?
      We provide a UNT shuttle van service for a fee that is less than the "Super Shuttle" or comparable services to bring you directly from either airport (DFW or DAL) to campus. More details will be provided on the service and the fee once we know how many people need the service (in the past, the cost has been approximately $60 round trip).

      Where will I stay while at the workshop?
      Some attendees commute each day, some stay in local hotels, but most find that staying on campus is the most convenient and economical option. There is dormitory housing available very close to the music buildings on campus.

      Do I have to be there ALL day, EVERY day of the week? What is the daily schedule like?
      We request that everyone plan to attend all of every day and night, whether you commute or stay in on-campus housing. Exceptions can be made for specific circumstances. The daily schedule is quite full and goes from 9 a.m. - 9 p.m. with a variety of activities and breaks for meals and solo performance coaching sessions. You will have a specific daily schedule made available to you after registration.

      I am a classically-trained singer/educator with very little exposure to jazz so far, but would like to learn more about jazz so I can sing/teach it; is this workshop for me?
      Yes! Although some familiarity with jazz is helpful, all that is required is a desire to learn and a willingness to TRY new things! You may wish to consider the auditor role if you have NO background in singing jazz, but it's not required that you do so, and we're here to help. In addition you may find it beneficial to attend the Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar that precedes this workshop. See below for more information.

      I heard there's also a shorter seminar you offer just for educators. What's that about and which one should I attend if I'm a teacher?
      For the second year, the 2017 UNT Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop will be preceded by a pre-workshop "Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar" from Thursday afternoon through Saturday, June 15 - 17. It will be led by UNT Vocal Jazz Director Jennifer Barnes and phenomenal award-winning high school educator, Michael Molloy (St. Charles North High School, St. Charles, IL) on the campus of the University of North Texas. The seminar will be packed full of content relevant to high school and college-level teachers who either are already working with students on vocal jazz, are thinking about starting to explore vocal jazz with their students, or any current or future teachers who want to know more about: rhythm sections, repertoire, sound reinforcement, rehearsal techniques, auditions, warm-ups, etc., and everyone will come away with materials to take home with them and use in their teaching immediately. Attendees will also have the option of staying for the 5-day workshop at the conclusion of the seminar for even MORE immersion in all things vocal jazz, for a reduced rate. See this page for more info: UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar

      I've heard that everyone is required to sing solo songs on two evenings of the workshop. I've never done that before and don't think I want do it...can I come anyway and NOT sing on the evening concerts?
      We encourage everyone to keep an open mind about this aspect of the workshop...of course, we don't MAKE anyone do something they absolutely refuse to do, but let's just say that once at the workshop, we've never had anyone NOT change their mind and decide they wanted to sing yet! We really strive to make the experience as non-threatening as possible and encourage people to take risks and be willing to try to do the uncomfortable things that invariably end up being anywhere from "not as scary as I expected" to "that was a BLAST and I can't wait to do it again!"

      I'm not sure about my summer plans yet. How late can I wait to register for the workshop?
      We do not have a "hard and fast" answer to that question because the enrollment cutoff date is fluid, depending on total enrollment numbers, needs for particular voice parts, and other variables. We will accept enrollments continually until we max out, which is usually around a total of 40 students. At that time, we will post an update to that effect here on the website and also on our Facebook page. We usually end up needing and wanting additional male attendees, so we tend to keep accepting them up until the week before the workshop. Note that since payment must be made IN FULL by no later than May 19 (one month prior to the start of the workshop itself), there is a $30 late fee for making the remainder of payment anytime after that date, regardless of whether you have made a deposit or any other kind of payment.

      What if I register and then have to cancel?
      Cancellations must be made on or before June 5, 2017 to receive a refund of your fees, less the $20 processing fee and the $80 tuition deposit. No refunds will be issued after June 5, 2017.

      Are there scholarships available?
      In order to keep the tuition fees as low as possible, we do not offer scholarships UNTIL such time as our enrollment meets a certain critical number and we have met our expenses, therefore, we cannot guarantee any scholarships. However, in the past, we have been able to offer a small number (2 or 3) partial scholarships of $250 towards tuition fees. Anyone who's interested in being considered for those scholarships should e-mail the program director, Jennifer Barnes (jennifer.barnes@unt.edu) and send the following:
      1. A link to a LIVE, unedited vocal performance of yourself singing (with either a backing track or live accompaniment),
      2. A brief statement including information about your background and why attending the workshop would be of particular interest and value to you.
      We will acknowledge receipt of that information and will notify you in the event that we're able to offer you a scholarship. Since we cannot guarantee that we'll be able to offer scholarships, we highly recommend that anyone interested in attending go ahead and register with a deposit, and if possible, make their full payment by May 21 (to avoid the late payment charge), then if a scholarship becomes available, we can refund the scholarship amount.

      How can I confirm that my deposit or full payment has been received?
      Please contact Christopher Walker by e-mail at christopher.walker@unt.edu or call (940) 565-3743.

      What people are saying about the UNT Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop

      Educators say…
      “Thank you again for all the training and information you, Greg and Rosana have imparted to us. I said it last year and must say it again, that I have not gained so much knowledge from any other sessions, seminars or workshops as the UNT VJSW. Truly amazing environment and learning!” Sarah S. (High school educator, 2012 & 2013 Workshopper)

      “Thanks again and congratulations on a great jazz week, I really enjoyed myself! Good to sing, good to exchange ideas (and ohhh the handouts), good to see old friends and make few new ones too.” Rita S. (High school educator, 2012 Workshopper)

      Parents say…
      “[My daughter] had so many positive things to say about the camp and I'm certain she'll want to return next year! Being so far (NC), I wasn't able to attend the performances, but with the recordings, I was able to get a feel for the quality of instruction and I am VERY impressed! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!” Sheryl C. (mother of high school-aged 2012 Workshopper)

      “Thank you and all the instructors for hosting an amazing camp program. [My daughter] can't stop talking about how much fun she had and how much she learned. In the few hours she's been home, I've seen YouTube video of all the instuctors, heard funny stories, seen great pictures and even heard [her] sing! If she had her way, she'd be with you another week. I appreciate the organization and professionalism of your camp. Money well spent!” Mia J. (mother of high school-aged 2013 Workshopper)

      Adult vocalists say…
      “I found the workshop hugely inspiring in so many ways. The piece that [Jennifer] and Rosana created on the spot that brought to mind a pair of songbirds in the woods -- took my breath away. Circle singing. New music to explore, thanks to guided listening. I could go on and on...glad I took the plunge and ever grateful for your encouragement.” Gita M. (adult 2012 Workshopper)

      “Just wanted to drop a line and say thanks again for the wonderful workshop…tons of information, terrific faculty, and well worth the money! : ) Very happy camper here (pun intended).” Wendy H. (Educator/Vocalist Workshopper)

      “Words cannot express how much I enjoyed the camp. I learned so much and I am excited for the journey of jazz. :) Thanks for everything!” Alyssa R. (Adult Workshopper)

      Students say…
      “Thank you so much for the great week, I had a fantastic time and I learned so much! It was really helpful to realize how much I don't know. And now that I do I can improve and learn and be better by the next time I see you. Thanks for all the fun times and new knowledge.” Amy A. (High school-aged Workshopper)

      For further information, contact Jennifer Barnes by e-mail: jennifer.barnes@unt.edu