IWU Jazz Groups Invite Local High School Ensemble to Perform

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. — Illinois Wesleyan University’s Vocal Jazz Lab Ensemble and Unlicensed Syncopation will perform alongside “Jazzin’ The Evenin,’” an ensemble from University High School in Normal, on Saturday, April 14 at 7:30 p.m. at Westbrook Auditorium in Presser Hall (1210 N. Park St., Bloomington). The concert is free and open to the public.

This year marks the second year that the IWU Vocal Jazz program has invited a local high school ensemble to perform, giving high school students the opportunity to establish a personal connection with the IWU School of Music and its students. The repertoire for all three ensembles will include music from a variety of renowned composers, such as Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and flautist Kenny Garrett, “Poet Laureate of Jazz” Jon Hendricks and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner Bill Evans. The ensembles will conclude the concert together with a performance of the widely-covered song “I’ll Be Seeing You,” written by composer Sammy Fain and lyricist Irving Kahal.

The IWU Vocal Jazz Lab Ensemble, founded in 2016, is comprised of both music and non-music majors, who gain exposure to many styles of jazz music throughout their performances. The ensemble is led by Visiting Instructor of Music Education Andrew Dahan, who also directs Unlicensed Syncopation.

Established in 2015, Unlicensed Syncopation is open for any IWU student interested in jazz and jazz-influenced music to audition. The ensemble consists of approximately twelve vocalists and a rhythm section. Students develop improvisation skills, knowledge of contemporary vocal jazz literature, and experience performing in ensembles and as soloists. The ensemble performs at jazz festivals throughout the year, both at the annual IWU Jazz Festival and across the Midwest.

For additional information, please contact the School of Music at (309) 556-3061.

By Rachel McCarthy ’21