THE UVIC VOCAL JAZZ MAINSTREAM & IMPROVISATIONAL ENSEMBLE has established a reputation for artistic excellence, stylistic flexibility and performances of original and inspiring arrangements. In addition to highly successful performances at the Powell River Vocal Summit and the Frank Demiero Jazz Fest, UVJMIE was the choral ensemble for The Best of Queen concert series with JEANS 'N CLASSICS and the VICTORIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA under Maestro Giuseppe Pietraroia. The Ensemble is well known for its fun-filled, filled-to-capacity audience engaging concerts. Our Autumn and Spring Vocal Jazz Showcases feature the Signature Studio Ensembles - the University of Victoria Studio Group, the University of Victoria Show Choir - and various Spotlight Combos including Ellavation Chorale, and the UVic Vocal Jazz Stage Orchestra. The Ensemble has opened for the internationally acclaimed vocal groups GROOVE FOR THOUGHT and THE REAL GROUP, Canadian sensation COUNTERMEASURE, and has received high praise from legends Kirby Shaw and Dave Barduhn, and from master educators Vijay Singh, Peter Taylor and Janet Warren. Among our many distinguished alumni are the superb FIFTH STREET, MIKE EDEL and TWIN KENNEDY.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

UViC Vocal Jazz at Arbutus Middle School

The UVic Vocal Jazz Ensemble joins the Arbutus Middle School Vocal Jazz Ensemble for a morning of music on February 4th.

The exciting music program at Arbutus Global Middle School is led by two UVic grads, Mike Mazza and Jennifer Hill (nee Smith), and features a wide variety of musical experiences for budding musicians.

For a relatively small city, Victoria has the lion's share of excellent music programs, many in the hands of UVic grads who have assumed prominent roles in music education in the province of British Columbia.

Monday, 21 January 2013

2013 UVSMEA Retreat

Click on image to enlarge.
On January 13th at Camp Pringle at Shawnigan Lake, members of the UVic Student Music Educators Association participated in an exploration of composition processes intended to supplement their studies in music education.

The workshop, entitled I Re-write The Songs That Make The Whole World Cringe, consisted of a series of practical exercises that examined and synthesized complementary and contrasting approaches to teaching music composition to high school students.

UVic students were first directed to write down their responses to various questions asked by the workshop leader, Wendell Clanton, director of the UVic Vocal Jazz Ensemble. Each participant was then directed to exchange their theme cards with an adjacent student. Another series of questions were asked and responses were again recorded by each participant. The theme cards were then exchanged again.

Students were then given a guide in the form of a leadsheet of a jazz standard, asked to sing the lyrics together in the large group, and then invited to form small groups in which they re-wrote the lyrics according to set guidelines intended to facilitate or complicate the revision process. Each participant was given a leadsheet without lyrics so they could record their new lyrics and make revisions.

Each team or small group was given a limited time to reconstruct the lyrics using the theme cards possessed by each participant in a team. Students were encouraged to name their composition teams, use appropriate humour in their new lyrics and employ whatever instruments in their possession to enhance the performance of the new lyrics.

Upon the completion of the first stage of the team workshops, teams were then brought together in the large group to receive additional direction. A brief presentation included an examination of the compositional process and potential advantages and roadblocks to success. Various aspects of the BC Provincial curriculum were brought to the students' attention by nuancing the compositional processes in which they were engaged.

The teams were then invited to return to small group work for a brief period in order to refine and rehearse their presentations. Prior to the performance of the new lyrics by each team, a member was selected from each group to form a committee charged with evaluating each performance and selecting a winning submission. The adjudicators were tasked with providing specific feedback intended to facilitate self evaluation and an evaluation of the workshop.

The presentations were a mixture of hilarious and intricate associations, awkward juxtapositions of themes and exceptional wit and wordplay, all in service of acquainting the students with the Provincial (BC) curriculum prescribed learning outcomes (PLOs).

All in all, the workshop was very successful and managed to engage every participant in a refinement of literacy in aid of teaching and learning.

Friday, 11 January 2013

Rehearsal January 14th

Looking forward to a full rehearsal this coming Monday - 6:15 start time.
  1. He Beeped (confident solos)
  2. A Child Is Born
  3. Clear Day (mm 89-150)
  4. Baby Driver (beg to m. 65) (confident solos)
Remember to keep the following charts from last semester "fresh":
  1. Do Nothin' (review on Monday)
  2. Sunshine
  3. Nica's Dream
Nick will be presenting his lift on Monday!