Publication Date



Open access

Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Studio Music and Jazz (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Rachel Lebon

Second Committee Member

Donald Coffman

Third Committee Member

Lawrence Lapin

Fourth Committee Member

Paul Wilson


A comparison and analysis of existing texts whose focus was jazz and contemporary vocal ensemble techniques, in combination with the information gathered from interviews, as well as the author's personal teaching and professional experience as a jazz vocal artist, group singer, and jazz vocal ensemble director, served as the basis for developing strategies for a jazz and contemporary vocal ensemble sound. The major elements found to be the most critical for inclusion in sequence include: commonalities and differences, sound system and vocal production, ballad interpretation, swing interpretation, and contemporary interpretation. It is the author's intention to design an easy-to-follow guideline for the traditional choral director whose desire is to develop a jazz vocal ensemble within the choral program. The strategies presented are intended to introduce basic concepts of vocal production and style that are deemed relevant and idiomatic for the jazz and contemporary vocal ensemble. A compact disc is also included, demonstrating the written examples. A series of interviews were also conducted with Professor Larry Lapin (University of Miami), Dr. Stephen Zegree (Western Michigan University), Kerry Marsh (Sacramento State University), Janis Seigel (Manhattan Transfer), Lauren Kinhan (New York Voices), Michelle Amato (Yanni/Disney/studio singer), and Julia Dollison (Down Beat Jazz Vocal Winner).


Jazz Vocal Ensemble Sound