The Millikin University School of Music will host the 24th annual Vocal Jazz Festival on Saturday, Feb. 16 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center.
The event will feature over 25 high school and collegiate vocal jazz ensembles performing in a non-competitive format. The groups will also have the chance to work with guest clinicians Jennifer Barnes, a highly sought-after vocalist, educator, clinician and arranger who is currently a member of the jazz faculty at the University of North Texas; Michele Weir, one of the leading figures in vocal jazz today, she has earned international recognition through a diverse set of talents as arranger, teacher, singer and pianist; and John Musick '01, since graduating from Millikin, he has been the music director and bass singer for the nationally acclaimed singing group Chapter 6 and is now a choral director at Lyons Township High School in La Grange, Ill.
In addition to performing and working with clinicians during the festival, the ensembles and the general public will have the chance to enjoy a vocal jazz concert by Millikin's award-winning vocal jazz ensemble OneVoice at 1 p.m.
"Our festival, now in its 24th year, is the only festival of its kind in the Midwest area," remarked Stephen Widenhofer, director of the School of Music. "Millikin has pioneered the vocal jazz genre in our region and we attract the finest clinicians to work with participating ensembles."
Schools that have committed to participate include:
Kirkwood High School – Kirkwood, Mo.
Peoria Notre Dame High School – Peoria
Minooka High School – Minooka
Hononegah High School – Rockton
Carmel Catholic High School – Mundelein
Niles North High School – Skokie
Lincoln-Way Central High School – New Lenox
Pius XI High School – Milwaukee, Wis.
Illinois Valley Central High School – Chillicothe
Jacobs High School – Algonquin
Elk Grove High School – Elk Grove Village
Limestone Community High School – Bartonville
Eisenhower High School – Decatur
Cary-Grove High School – Cary
Robert Morris University – Chicago
Fort Zumwalt West High School – O'Fallon, Mo.
The Vocal Jazz Festival is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact the Millikin School of Music at 217.424.6300 or visit www.millikin.edu/music
For more information on Kirkland Fine Arts Center, please visit www.kirklandfinearts.com
. Events at the Kirkland Fine Arts Center are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency, and the Midwest Arts Council.