Vocal Jazz Festival


NCDA will be using Opus Event for 2018-2019 events. All registrations, auditions, and payments will be taken online through Opus Event. Deadlines will be enforced by necessity. Please mark your calendars accordingly.


The NCDA VOCAL JAZZ FESTIVAL, held each year at Columbus High School, first began in 2004 with the purpose of providing non-competitive performance/clinic opportunities to vocal jazz ensembles.  It is designed to encourage the implementation of vocal jazz into the choral curriculum as part of a comprehensive music program that spans elementary to post secondary education. The first clinician was Kirk Marcy from Edmonds Community College in Washington State. Past years have witnessed such notable clinicians as Kirby Shaw, Michele Weir, Frank DeMiero, Vijay Singh, Randy Crenshaw, Kerry Marsh, Julia Dollison, Jennifer Barnes, Greg Jasperse, and the entire Just 4 Kicks quartet. Many thanks to Dr. Joel Schreuder from Chadron State College for assisting in the development of the festival as our first Vocal Jazz Repertoire & Standards Chair!

September 1, 2018: Registration Opens

February 4, 2019: Registration Deadline

Registration Fees: $215 (members); $265 (non-members)

More Information

MULTIPLE PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES. Each group has a main stage performance with our clinician as well as a follow-up clinic in the choir room with a secondary clinician. There are breakout sessions that your students will attend as well as the “Parade of Choirs” at the end of the day where everyone sings once more for all the groups.  Any level of age or ability is accepted at the festival. If you would prefer, there is a category for those only wishing to observe and participate in the breakout sessions.

The festival is open to all schools, however NCDA members will receive a discounted registration.



1. The festival is about learning from and supporting each other. Let us celebrate our differences of class size, age, and levels of jazz development. We all can learn something from each other.

2. Cooperation, not competition is the key to the deepest level of appreciation and life-long learning. We sing for the sake of performing music, not to find out if we are better than someone else.

3. Breakout sessions provide another opportunity to sing and learn. Take advantage of these sessions by actively participating when asked. It is no time to be shy.

4. Vocal Jazz strengthens musicianship skills by performing tight harmonies, difficult rhythms, and singing expressively in a many different styles such as blues, swing, big band, bebop, contemporary, etc.

5. All wide variety of styles can be performed, but at some point in your program you should swing and have improvisational opportunities for the students to be called a jazz choir.

Contact Celeste Ditter for more information.