The Ithaca College Vocal Jazz Ensemble, directed by John W. White, has a long and rich history of music making in New York state. The group’s repertoire spans many styles within the jazz tradition, including a cappella and accompanied works in swing, Latin, contemporary, and funk styles, among others.
Established in the 1970s by the late David Riley, distinguished professor of Music Education, over the years the group has included numerous members that went on to establish successful careers in the music profession. In the mid-1980s, Dave Riley’s direction brought the IC Vocal Jazz Ensemble international acclaim—which included a 1986 performance tour of high-profile European Jazz festivals—and his teaching provided training for many jazz educators and performers, including three founding members of the Grammy Award winning New York Voices.
Currently the IC Vocal Jazz Ensemble consists of 16 vocalists, accompanied by a rhythm section (and occasionally horns). The group is a campus-wide ensemble, with membership available to graduate and undergraduate students, regardless of major. (Please note that all interested vocalists, even previous members, must sign up for an audition.) Information about auditioning for the 2016-2017 year will be posted sometime in August, 2016. (For more information see the Auditions - Fall 2016 page.)
Four on-campus concerts are scheduled for the 2016-17 school year. Additional performances, including some off campus, are currently under negotiation (so stay tuned). A special performance is being planned for the opening night of the 2017 New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp to be held on the IC campus in early August, 2017.