Dr. Jeremy Fox

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After graduating from The School for Music Vocations in 1996, Jeremy earned a B.M. degree in Piano Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University.  He later received his Masters degree in Studio Jazz Writing from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami. He recently earned his D.M.A. in Jazz Composition (with an emphasis on jazz vocals) from the same university. From 2001-2010, Jeremy was one of the faculty at the School for Music Vocations, teaching theory, arranging, studio recording, and solo jazz literature. He directed various instrumental & choral ensembles and the vocal group, First Take.  Jeremy has received ten awards from Downbeat magazine, including ones for: Jazz Song, Jazz Arrangement, Studio Engineering, and for his vocal jazz group. Jeremy has several charts published with Sound Music Publications, UNC Jazz Press – and his own publishing company, Foxtrot Publishing. He has written for such artists as: John Secada, Theo Bleckmann, m-pact, Terence Blanchard, and Metropolitan Opera singers Eric Owens and Denyce Graves. Twice in 2013, he conducted and was musical director for a concert of "Bossa Nova Sinfónico" with the Costa Rican National Orchestra and Brazilian singer Rose Max. He has also acted as the guest conductor for the famed Henry Mancini Institute Jazz Orchestra, based in Miami.

Jeremy was nominated for a Grammy award in 2015 for an arrangement from his album "With Love" (Jazzbill Records), which was released in 2014.  The album features big band and orchestral arrangements for a phenomenal line-up of singers, including Anders Edenroth (from The Real Group), Kevin Mahogany, Kate Reid, Kate McGarry, Derek Fawcett, Rose Max, Wendy Pedersen, Sunny Wilkinson, and Lauren Kinhan and Peter Eldridge (from the New York Voices). It is available on iTunes, Amazon, and other digital stores.  A physical copy of the CD can be ordered at www.JeremyFox.net

Lucas Mattson*


Lucas is one of the full-time faculty at the School for Music Vocations – teaching such classes as arranging, theory, and solo jazz performance. He holds an Associate of Applied Arts degree from Southwestern Community College, as well as a B.A. in Piano Performance from Northern Arizona University.  While attending the School for Music Vocations, Lucas was a member of Voices Iowa and performed at Carnegie Hall in 1997, 1998, and 2002.  He also performed at the New York IAJE conference in 1998 and the World Choral Symposium in the summer of 2002.  As a teacher at Southwestern Community College, Lucas’s vocal jazz groups have shared the stage with such artists as NY Voices, M-Pact, Rajaton, and The Real Group.   *At Creston and Winnipeg camps only.


Ryan Howe*


Ryan is a graduate of Mansfield University, where he received a B.A. in Vocal Performance.  After his time at Mansfield, he studied at Southwestern Community College for a year before joining the faculty in 2009.  While studying at SWCC, Ryan was a member of Audio Radiance and First Take, headlined the Brandon Jazz Festival and shared the stage with the Real Group, M-Pact, and Rajaton.  

At The School for Music Vocations, Ryan directs the Concert Choir and teaches music theory, recording studio, aural skills, and jazz improvisation.  He is the Executive Director of the 2-day SWCC Vocal Jazz Festival, having featured in the past Groove for Thought, The Four Freshmen, Nancy King. This year at the festival, the inception of a live CD by the duo of Michele Weir and Phil Mattson will be recorded at the evening concerts. *At Creston and Winnipeg camps only.

Harmonic Convergence

A six-member vocal ensemble, Harmonic Convergence is the top vocal jazz ensemble from the School for Music Vocations. The group, directed by Lucas Mattson, sings a wide variety of musical styles, including jazz, latin, r & b, and a cappella music. Along with performing and touring internationally, Harmonic Convergence also co-hosts the SWCC Vocal Jazz Fest each spring. Harmonic Convergence is (from left to right, upper to lower): Emily Xander, Erin Coker, Ben Nelson, Elizabeth Sadler, Meldrick Agravante, and Annika Linde.


Jason Smith*

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As a faculty member at the School for Music Vocations, Jason teaches Baroque music theory/composition, jazz piano, vocal arranging, conducting and rehearsal techniques.  He also directs the concert choir and does the bulk of the writing for his vocal jazz group, Audio Radiance.  

As a member of the Grammy-nominated P.M. Singers, he shared the bill with artists such as Bobby McFerrin, Richie Cole, and Rob McConnell and the Boss Brass.  His professional a capppella vocal group Corner Market toured with George Benson.  Jason held various teaching positions at Foothill College, Washington State University and the Phil Mattson School before finding a home at The School for Music Vocations in Creston in 1992.  Jason is active throughout the year with vocal jazz clinics & workshops across the country.
*At Creston Camp only.


Cynthia Wahl*

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Cynthia Peyson Wahl is a graduate of the University of Regina, holding a B. Mus. Ed. She later received a diploma in Jazz Studies with a vocal emphasis from Grant MacEwan College in Edmonton, where she sang in the Jazz Choirunder the direction of Chandelle Rimmer. She currently teaches vocal jazz and choir at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, and directs the jazz choir Wholly Jazz at the Canadian Mennonite University. At DMCI, her jazz choir, DMCice, has been a featured performer at the Moose Jaw Band and Choral Festival and Choralfest Manitoba, has opened for Cadence, and received a Gold Award for Superior Performance at MusicFest Canada.  Cynthia performs regularly as a vocalist and a flautist, and adjudicates and guest conducts frequently around Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
*At Winnipeg Camp only.


John Knutson*

John Knutson is Director of Choral Studies at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, CA.  He is also a member of the professional vocal jazz ensemble, Vocalogy, formed by Phil Mattson in 1998.  John directed the California All-State Vocal Jazz Choir in 2006, and in May 2009 John was named Cuesta College's Teacher of the Year.  His ensembles have performed at the American Choral Directors Association National Convention, the Montreux Jazz Festival, and the International Association for Jazz Education Convention.  John holds a Masters in Conducting from Northern Arizona University and a Bachelors in Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota, and was both a student at the School for Music Vocations and later a teacher there.
* San Jose Camp only

Michelle Hawkins*

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Michelle Hawkins is a highly sought after jazz vocalist in the San Francisco Bay Area.  She performs an eclectic mix of"straight ahead" and Brazilian jazz at clubs and restaurants with some of the top jazz musicians in the area including Rick Vandivier, Jeff Buenz, Jeff Massanari, Marc Van Wageningen, and Scott Sorkin.  Her personal style grew out a love for a wide variety ofmusic from artists like Kurt Elling, Chet Baker, Luciana Souza, Wayne Shorter, and Ivan Lins, Michael Jackson and Sting.  Originally trained as a classical flutest and conductor, Michelle brings a wide breadth of experience and musicianship to her singing.  As Associate Professor of Music at Skyline College, Michelle is a passionate, award-winning jazz choir director.  Her groups have won 4 Downbeat Magazine awards for Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and they have consistently placed 1st or 2nd at the Reno Jazz Festival and Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival.   * San Jose Camp only