UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar

Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar teachers in class

Registration for the 7th Annual UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar at The University of North Texas is now open at https://app.getacceptd.com/untmusicworkshops.

(This page has been updated as of December 22, 2023)

The 7th annual UNT Vocal Jazz Educator Seminar will be held on the campus of the University of North Texas from June 20 to June 22, 2024, led by UNT Director of Vocal Jazz, Jennifer Barnes and high school choral/vocal jazz educator Raymond Roberts (Milwaukee High School of the Arts).

The seminar will be packed full of content relevant to current or future educators who either are already working with students on vocal jazz or are considering starting vocal jazz with their students, with topics to include:

Learning about sound reinforcement

  • 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 (sometimes used to fulfill Professional Development requirements).

Enrollment will be limited to 20 educators on a first-come, first-served basis and is limited to current or future educators (music education students welcome!) over age 18.

Attendees have the option of staying to attend the UNT Vocal Jazz Summer Workshop immediately following the seminar (for a reduced combined tuition) for a week of full immersion into all things Vocal Jazz!  Many educators who have done this in the past have encouraged some of their students to join them in attending the workshop to help give a "boost" for the following year, as well as having the fun of learning and participating alongside their students! For more information on the workshop, click here.  

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

4:30 p.m. - Seminar Begins
7:30 p.m. - Move to the "Culinary Enjoyment & Fellowship Seminar" (out to eat together!)
9:00 a.m. - Seminar Begins
12:30 p.m. - Lunch Break
1:45 p.m. - Seminar Continues
5:30 p.m. - Dinner Break
7:00 p.m. - Seminar Continues
8:30 p.m. - Break for the Evening
9 a.m. - Seminar Continues
12:30 p.m. - Lunch Break
1:45 p.m. - Seminar Continues
6:00 p.m. - Seminar Concludes


  • Tuition - $350
  • Lodging* - Participants lodging on campus will arrive Thursday, June 20 and depart Saturday, June 22. The seminar will conclude by 6:00pm on Saturday, June 22.
    • Adult Double: Private room w/ shared bath - $100 for 2 nights (June 20 & 21)
      • $50 per each additional night (June 19 and/or June 22)
    • Adult Single: Private room w/ private bath - $120 for 2 nights (June 20 & 21)
      • $60 per each additional night (June 19 and/or June 22)
  • Meals $50 for 5-meal plan
    • Meal plan includes Friday breakfast through Saturday lunch. Thursday evening we dine out together. Additional meals may be purchased in the dining hall with cash or card.
  • Commuter parking - $10
  • Continuing education units certificate (optional) - $20
  • Non-refundable registration fee - $30

*Linens are not provided. Attendees must bring their own sheets & towels.


  • Full payment is due at the time of registration.
  • Refunds requested by May 23, 2024 will be honored less a processing fee (2.9% of total paid + $0.30) and the $30 non-refundable application fee.
    • We are unable to process refunds requested after May 23, 2024.
    • No refunds will be made should a participant be dismissed from the seminar for violating UNT policy or seminar rules provided on the first day.
  • The reason for these policies and deadlines is that the number of staff who must be hired and trained varies according to the expected enrollment which is determined by the number of participants who commit to the registration process.
  • Enrollment will be limited. Once that number of completed registrations with full payment is reached, no new applications can be started. Applicants who are at the in-progress stage because full payment has not been made constitute the waiting list. As spots open up, waiting list participants will be contacted in the order of their date of registration.


  • May 23, 2024

Additional questions? Please contact music.camps@unt.edu or (940) 369-6541.

Learning to play acoustic bass!


Educator Seminar participants at Fuzzy's Tacos


Learning to play jazz drums with a rhythm section!



"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


Raymond Roberts

Raymond Roberts Bio

Raymond Roberts is the Director of Vocal Music at the Milwaukee High School of the Arts, where he has taught since 1991. Mr. Roberts is a 1987 graduate of the Booker T. Washington HS of the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, TX, where he had the distinct pleasure of learning jazz from Bart Marantz and Kent Ellingson (and playing in Jazz Combo with Roy Hargrove). He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University. He is active in the Milwaukee music community, having held the position of Assistant Director of the Milwaukee Symphony Chorus and Director of the Plymouth Concert Chorale. Roberts currently works in music ministry at First United Methodist Church- West Allis with his wife, Alyssa. He has also performed as Tenor soloist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Bel Canto Chorus, and the Bach Chamber Chorus. 

His vocal jazz ensemble from Milwaukee High School of the Arts has performed at numerous state, regional, and national music conferences (2015 ACDA National Conference) and have won 9 DownBeat Student Music Awards since 2014. His students are also frequently recognized as national winners in the YoungArts and NAACP ACT-SO competitions. In the fall of 2023, two of his students placed 1st and 2nd in the inaugural Ravenscroft Jazz Prize competition. He presently serves Wisconsin Choral Directors Association (WCDA) as the Repertoire & Resources Chair for World Musics and Cultures.

Link to PBS Wisconsin YouTube interview:


Links to YouTube vids of the Milwaukee HS of the Arts vocal jazz ensemble: