Vocal Programs

Each of SJW’s three summer jazz immersion camps has its own vocal program. These offer a substantive vocal jazz curriculum tailored to each student’s individual needs and abilities, taught by world-class professionals on the beautiful Stanford campus.

  • The Giant Steps Day Camp vocal program is for middle school students who have had experience singing in choir or show choir. No audition required.
  • The Jazz Camp vocal program is for singers 12 – 17 years of age. No audition required.
  • The Jazz Institute vocal program is designed for amateur and professional-level adult singers, and for highly advanced young singers. All first-time participants must audition.

Giant Steps Day Camp Vocal Program

  • Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17, 2015
  • Taught by Juliet Green
  • For middle school students and students entering middle school in the Fall
  • No audition required

Giant Steps Day Camp offers a fun introduction to jazz singing using some of the wonderful jazz repertoire. Vocal fundamentals are the priority, with attention to both ensemble singing and individual soloing. This program is taught by Juliet Green, who specializes in middle school vocal education. 

Jazz Camp Vocal Program

  • Week 1, Sunday, July 19 – Friday, July 24, 2015
  • Week 2, Sunday, July 26 – Friday, July 31, 2015
  • Ages 12-17
  • No audition requirement

In addition to a solid grounding on singing fundamentals, every Jazz Camp vocal student learns a basic repertoire of jazz material, improvisation, and how to identify which keys are best for their voice. Phrasing, improvisation and interpretation will be covered in depth. Singers will also become familiar with charts and arranging, and learn to communicate with their band. Basic vocal technique will also be covered, as will mic technique. It’s all about singing, in both ensemble and solo settings, and there are plenty of opportunities at daily combo practice and jam sessions in the late afternoon. Jazz Camp vocal faculty have tremendous experience performing and recording, and they create a collegial atmosphere in which every student is encouraged to find their own voice.

Jazz Institute Vocal Program

  • Sunday, August 2 – Friday, August 7, 2015
  • For adults and advanced young singers 17 and under
  • Audition is required for first-time participants

To be admitted to the Jazz Institute vocal program, you don't necessarily have to have sung jazz before, but a good sense of rhythm and pitch are a must. Vocal Program Director Madeline Eastman and vocal/piano faculty member Dena DeRose offer students the opportunity to take their singing to the next level by developing their own unique style. Participants will sing with a professional trio every day, attend masterclasses such as Scat Lab, and will be placed in a theory class appropriate to their skill level, from basic to advanced.

Jazz Institute "Sing Like a Horn" program

This special track of the Jazz Institute vocal program integrates a limited number of advanced singers into the instrumental combo program, where they will join fellow student instrumentalists in daily combo rehearsals. The program is designed for vocalists who wish to explore and practice small ensemble material in a role comparable to that of an instrumentalist. Singers must demonstrate proficiency at sight-reading and improvisation to participate; auditions for the "Sing Like a Horn" program will be held on the first day of Jazz Institute. “Sing Like a Horn” students may also participate in the regular curriculum of the Jazz Institute vocal program, and have the option of attending advanced elective classes.

In the Jazz Institute vocal program, students will work both individually and in groups in a series of classes and activities which include the following:

  • Theory: A daily theory class tailored specifically for vocalists is offered along with beginning, intermediate, and advanced jazz theory.
  • Daily Specials: Daily presentations by world-class SJW faculty include Latin rhythms and percussion, the business of music, creating your own book of charts, songwriting, improvising, stage presence, and more.
  • Singing with a trio: Each day includes an opportunity to sing with a professional trio.
  • Jam: Nightly jam sessions led by SJW faculty in Campbell Recital Hall.
  • Performance: There is an optional student performance on Thursday night, friends and family are encouraged to come.
  • Shed with Fred: Each singer has an individual session with Fred Harris, a fantastic pianist and coach.
  • Masterclass: At each morning session you’ll explore a variety of topics including:
    • Improvisation
    • Writing your own charts
    • The fundamentals of singing
    • The business of music
    • New ways to approach old tunes
    • How to communicate with a band

Jazz Institute Vocal Program Daily Schedule

9–10 a.m. Theory
10:15–11:45 Master Class
Noon Lunch
1–2:20 p.m. Daily Specials, or Scat Lab with Dena DeRose
2:30–4:20 Sing with Trio, or with Combo for VIC participants (Group A)
  Concepts Class (Group B)
4:30–6:20 Sing with Trio, or with Combo for VIC participants (Group B)
  Concepts Class (Group A)
6:20 Dinner
8:00 Stanford Jazz Festival Concert
10:00 Jam Session

First-time applicants: How to audition

Once you've submitted your completed online application for Jazz Institute, we ask that you prepare and submit a recorded audition. The audition for the Jazz Institute vocal program consists of a performance of any two songs of your choice, in contrasting styles and tempos (e.g., Latin, swing, ballad, etc.). All backgrounds are acceptable: piano, rhythm section, “play-along” recording, etc. The quality of the accompaniment will not affect the applicant’s evaluation.

If you apply prior to April 1, 2015, we will hold your space in the Jazz Institute vocal program and you can submit your audition at any time prior to or on April 1, 2015.  If you apply after April 1, 2015, you must submit your audition immediately after registering; we will not complete your registration until we have received your audition.

For complete guidelines on how to prepare your audition and submit it, please click here.

Questions? Email registrar@stanfordjazz.org or call 650-736-0324 x303.

Photos by Teresa Tam Studio and Jeffrey Dean.