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Le Moyne College Hosts Vocal Jazz Festival

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (For Immediate Release) … The Le Moyne College Jazzuits will be hosting a high school vocal jazz festival on Saturday, April 2, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on the Le Moyne campus. Nine ensembles from New York state will have the opportunity to work under renowned vocal jazz educator and clinician Matt Falker. The festival will conclude with a combined concert, beginning at 7 p.m. in the James Commons, Campus Center. The concert is free and open to the public.

Matt Falker is currently on the faculty at MiraCosta College, where he directs vocal jazz ensembles and teaches jazz piano and other related classes. His previous positions include the University of Southern California, Cal State Northridge, Fullerton College and Purdue University. He also taught at Hamilton High School Academy of Music (Los Angeles) and directed Jazz Incorporated, which received two consecutive Down Beat Magazine "DB" national awards for best high school vocal jazz ensemble. Falker also teaches private jazz piano and voice.

A native of northern Michigan, Falker received a bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in jazz piano and a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in jazz voice. An active performer and clinician internationally, his recent appearances as a guest clinician or performer include festivals in Washington, Idaho, Alberta, Manitoba, and California, including prominent events such as the Monterey Jazz Festival. He has also served on the vocal jazz faculty for the IAJE Teacher Training Institute, and as the guest conductor for both the All-State Collegiate Vocal Jazz Ensemble and the LAUSD Middle School Honors Chorus. He is the founder and director of the Oceanside Jazz Festival, a non-competitive vocal jazz and big band festival hosted at MiraCosta College.

Falker’s vocal arrangements are published by UNC Jazz Press and Sound Music Publications, and he has also published an instructional DVD through Sound Music Publications titled “Jazz Piano for Singers, Volume 1.”

Groups attending the festival are: Cicero-North Syracuse High School, C. W. Baker High School (Baldwinsville), Solvay High School, Onteora High School, Auburn High School, Homer High School, Rondout Valley High School, Westhill High School and Durgee (Baldwinsville) Junior High Schools.

Each school will have a 30-minute session with Falker and also have an opportunity to participate in the evening concert. For more information, call (315) 445-4523.

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posted on: 3/22/2011