Jazz Master Class at Syracuse University

April 15 I conducted a master class for jazz students and voice majors
at Syracuse University's Setnor School of Music in conjunction with a
concert I performed on April 18: "Tish Oney--The Peggy Lee Project"
featuring esteemed guitarist John Chiodini. Having directed
collegiate-level vocal jazz ensembles for a number of years, I most
often am asked to provide coaching for an entire collective group at
once. However, since the SU Vocal Jazz Ensemble (directed by pianist Bill DiCosimo) had already completed
its final concert of the school year, I instead offered a soloist's
master class and worked with individual students in the jazz combo
setting (accompanied by piano, bass and drums). We focused on jazz
stylization, interpretation, mic technique, improvisation and whatever
else I felt the students needed in the short twelve minutes I had with
each. Most of these students had almost never worked one-on-one with a
microphone, which was a surprise to me--with shrinking university arts
budgets, this particular ensemble did not have a budget for upgrading
their equipment or PA system, so they seldom
performed with microphones. I was glad to at least provide a bit of
coaching and opportunity to learn about singing with amplification for
these aspiring soloists. The day was well-spent--the students were
well-prepared and excited to learn from me, and it was a bonus to have
members of the voice faculty there as well, attuned to learning about a
style with which they were only slightly familiar. I am thankful that
there are some universities and colleges able to provide these artist
residency learning experiences for their students, even during these
tough economic times.

WSTM-TV interview

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