UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar


Due to the ongoing novel coronavirus and COVID-19 pandemic, all 2020 Jazz Summer Workshop programming has been suspended. Any registrations that have already been made will be refunded less the $20 GetAcceptd application fees. Those fees can be held and applied to future registrations. Thank you for your understanding and stay safe.


Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar teachers in class

Registration will open on December 2, 2019 at https://app.getacceptd.com/untmusicworkshops

The 4th Annual UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar will be held on the campus of the University of North Texas from Thursday, June 18 through Saturday, June 20, 2020.

The seminar will be led by UNT Director of Vocal Jazz, Jennifer Barnes, and co-taught by Jeff Horenstein (Groove For Thought, Meadowdale High School in Lynwood, Washington). 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 or are considering starting vocal jazz with their students, with topics to include:

  • Working with rhythm sections (with special attention given to drum set and bass)
  • Choosing repertoire
  • Sound reinforcement
  • Rehearsal techniques unique to vocal jazz
  • Audition methods
  • Warm-ups and exercises to improve your ensemble's musicianship

Every attendee will come away with materials to take home and apply to their teaching immediately. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are offered, if desired, for a nominal fee. Attendees will also have the option of staying for the Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop at the conclusion of the seminar for even MORE immersion in all things vocal jazz!

Enrollment will be limited to 20 educators on a first-come, first-served basis in order to guarantee hands-on experience, and is limited to current or aspiring educators (college students welcome) over age 18.


Out-of-town participants should plan to arrive by Thursday afternoon, June 20. Those who fly can choose either DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport) or DAL (Dallas-Love Field).  Participants may use Uber/Lyft or an airport shuttle service to make the approximately 45-minute commute from either airport to the Denton area.  For those participants staying for the Workshop, an airport shuttle will be offered for a nominal fee for the return trip (only).

The schedule for the seminar will be as follows (subject to change):

7:30 p.m. DINNER (on your own, but most go to a local restaurant together, for “fellowship”!)
12:30 p.m. LUNCH BREAK
5:30 p.m. DINNER BREAK
12:30 p.m. LUNCH BREAK

Educator Seminar participants at Fuzzy's Tacos

Anyone wishing to stay for the UNT Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop (beginning Sunday, June 21 at 3 p.m.) will complete a combined registration on Acceptd, with a reduced tuition (see below).
We have single-room lodging (in a suite with a shared bath) available in Legends Hall, one of the newer dormitories on UNT's campus and a short, 2-block walk from the music building.  There are several nearby hotels in the Denton area at various price points as well.
A meal plan is offered ONLY during the Workshop week, for 15 meals (breakfast Monday through dinner Friday).  All meals are on your own during the Seminar.

FEES (see the Acceptd registration page for most complete and updated fee information)

  • Tuition: $350
  • "Early Bird" Tuition if registered and paid by April 1: $300
  • Combined tuition for the Educator Seminar PLUS the 6-day Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop immediately following the seminar: $795
  • “Early Bird” combined tuition for Seminar PLUS Workshop, if registered and paid by April 1: $745 ($50 discount)
  • Continuing Education Units Certificate: $15
  • Parking Pass:  $10
  • Housing (including linens): 
    • Checking in Thursday, June 18 - checking out Saturday, June 20:  $70
    • Checking in Thursday, June 18 - checking out Friday, June 26:  $280
    • $38 for additional nights after either the Seminar or Workshop (checking out by 10 a.m. either Sunday, June 21 or Saturday, June 27)
  • 3 Meal-per-day Meal Plan (during Workshop ONLY):  $120
  • T-shirt (for Workshop ONLY):  $15
  • Return shuttle to the airport on Saturday, June 29 (for those staying for the Workshop ONLY):  $25

Full refunds less a 2.9% + $0.30 credit card processing fee and initial Acceptd application fee of $20 will be honored until May 20 when registration closes. After that date, no refunds will be made. No refunds will be made if a participant is dismissed from the workshop for violating UNT policy or workshop rules explained on the first day of the workshop.

Guest teacher Janice Vlachos teaching the attendees


"Hey Vocal Jazz Educators! Just letting you know that the UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar was fantastic! Nice two-day workshop, low stress, high interest sessions, great people to learn from and with! TONS of helpful information, methods, and thought-provoking ideas and philosophies. I highly recommend it for next year when you are wondering if you want to do a workshop. This one is IT! You WANT to do it! Thanks Jennifer Barnes and Curtis Gaesser. Fantastic weekend learning from the best."

Marcy Spencer, Director of Choirs, Gilbert H.S. (Gilbert, AZ)

"The UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar was well worth the effort.  I learned a great deal in the planning, organization, and delivery of a successful vocal jazz program.  All educators with vocal jazz as part of their schedule should consider this seminar".

Kent Ellingson, Director of Vocal Jazz, Booker T. Washington HSPVA, Dallas

"Whether you're beginning a vocal jazz ensemble or have years of experience directing one, this workshop will have details that will improve your teaching. The demonstrations with sound gear, rhythm section (especially working with a drummer), and vocal jazz ensemble rehearsal techniques really made the experience worthwhile. The instructors were open to answer any question and shared many of their personal teaching experiences with seminar members, which was really appreciated. I would highly recommend this workshop to any colleague!"

John Stafford, Assistant Director of Music and Director of Choral Activities, Kansas City Kansas Community College

"The UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar was a power-packed two days, literally covering every aspect of vocal jazz directing and teaching. From seminar directors Jennifer Barnes and Curtis Gaesser I learned techniques and gained insight that I'll use with my students at my school. If you are looking for a way to take your jazz choir to the next level, look no further...highly recommended!"

Dr. Michael Pagán, Director, Bravo! Jazz Singers, Ottawa University

"The UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar is an incredible opportunity for ensemble directors at the high school and collegiate levels to get an in-depth breakdown on the full spectrum of details which go into establishing a program of high caliber musicianship in your ensemble. Facilitators Jennifer Barnes and Curtis Gaesser are at the very top of their field, and their willingness to share their talents as educators and "insider knowledge" was a gift beyond measure. This seminar is a must-do event for anyone serious about creating and maintaining a successful vocal jazz ensemble program, which fosters students to not only excel as performers, but grow as finely-tuned, musical members of their community as well."

Kate Duncan, Professor of Popular & Commercial Music, Loyola University New Orleans

Learning to play jazz drums with a rhythm section!Learning to play acoustic bass!