Grades 10, 11, 12
For the advanced singer, this select group of 14-16 singers performs vocal jazz music in the style of Manhattan Transfer and New York Voices. They have performed at Disney World and have been featured with the Erie Philharmonic Orchestra and at key Jazz Erie events. Each February, Collegiate Academy Vocal Jazz presents Singing Valentines, which is a yearly fundraising event. Vocal Jazz performs in a minimum of two concerts throughout the year, graduation, as well as numerous school and community events. (Breakfast and Dinner with Santa at the Erie Yacht Club are also standing yearly performance engagements.) In addition to preparing concert selections, this group focuses on the unique characteristics of vocal jazz, such as improvisation. Singers practice improvisation or “scatting” every class and listen to jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Mel Torme and Nat King Cole. When performing, students sing with individual microphones and a sound system. Stage presence, vocal projection and blend, and microphone technique are also addressed. Students perform a cappella, as well as with CD accompaniment, piano accompaniment and live instrumentation, often combining with Jazz Band II. Students from this class have often been selected to perform with the PMEA State Vocal Jazz Ensemble. This ensemble is considered an “Ambassador Ensemble” for Collegiate Academy, performing regularly for Erie’s Public Schools and in the Erie community.
Prerequisites: Enrollment is by audition only. Students are required to have taken at least one year of a Collegiate Academy vocal ensemble class. (Girls in grade 10–12 are required to have taken at least one year of Women’s Chorus.)