Vocal Jazz Arranging and Directing

Date of Defense


Date of Graduation




First Advisor

Gregory Jasperse

Second Advisor

Jeremy Siskind


The topic of my honors thesis is “Vocal Jazz Arranging and Directing”. I arranged six pieces for three different vocal ensembles: men’s chorus, women’s chorus, and mixed choir. The reason why I picked these choirs is because the voicings that they consist of are common voicings that you see in published arrangements. During my weekly lessons, I would bring in an arrangement, and my professor, Greg Jasperse, would look over these arrangements and comment on what needed to be edited. This was one of my favorite processes throughout the study. Every week, I would learn typical arranging techniques that would remedy difficult voice leading as well as create variation in the arrangements.

The next process was handing out music to the musicians. This required many hours of scheduling and rehearsing. Typically, I would find out the availabilities of each group and then schedule rehearsal times. During these rehearsals, I would reinforce what music they had learned on their own, and also give some insight on what I had in envisioned in the arrangement. These rehearsals also included rehearsing with the band separately and together with singers. It was important that the singers rehearse with the band in order to hear the foundation on which their harmonies are based.

The last element to the honors thesis was the recital. I had to schedule location, which the Lee Honors College graciously gave up their space, as well as reserve a sound system and sound personnel. We scheduled when setup time would be and sound check. During the soundcheck, we were able to rehearse the music one last time before the recital. Once the recital began, each group would perform their corresponding pieces. During the recital, I served as director. I would start each piece and either direct the entire piece or specific spots to reinforce entrances. I also would introduce each piece and briefly explain why I picked the repertoire as well as inspirations to my arrangements. The musicians performed the music at a high caliber, and I am grateful to them for performing and sharing my music.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Restricted

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