2022 Colorado Music Educators Association Conference 2022 Colorado Music Educators Association Conference

Exploring Timbre in Jazz Singing: Strategies for the Vocal Jazz E

- MST
Broadmoor Hall D/E

Leila Heil
University of Colorado Boulder, Associate Professor of Music Education

Leila Heil is Associate Professor of Music Education at the University of Colorado Boulder. After teaching choir at the high school level in Kansas, Arizona and Colorado, she joined the faculty of Ohio State University and later Colorado State University. Conducting credits include the 2001 International Association of Jazz Educators conference, numerous national and international performance tours, assistant conductor of the Grammy Jazz Choir, and honor choirs in Colorado, Nebraska, Wyoming, and Texas. In recent years, she has been an active clinician at national and international music education conferences including the Midwest Clinic, the Society for Music Teacher Education (SMTE) Conference, the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Research and Teacher Education Conference, the NAfME National In-service Conference, the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) National Conference. She has also presented at state NAfME and ACDA conferences in Colorado, Arizona, Ohio and Texas. She has authored and co-authored articles on improvisation (Music Educators Journal), vocal jazz rehearsal strategies (Choral Journal), pre-service music teacher identity (Visions in Music Education Research), pre-service teacher preparation (Contributions to Music Education), and trends in choral repertoire selection (Choral Journal). 

John Seesholtz
University of Colorado, Director of Vocal Pedagogy

Dr. John Seesholtz, dramatic baritone, is the Director of Vocal Pedagogy at the University of Colorado. His most recent operatic performances include; Madame Butterfly (Sharpless), Florencia en el Amazonas (Alvaro), Verdi’s Otello (Iago), Candide (Pangloss), Silvio (Pagliacci),Verdi's Falstaff (Ford), and Gianni Schicchi (title role). Some of his solo concert performances include Camina Burana, Brahm’s Requiem, Five Mystical Songs, Sea Symphony, and Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams. He has multiple articles published with the Journal of Singing and currently holds positions with the National Association of Teachers of Singing,  La Lirica Musica, and Art Song Colorado.  


Vocal jazz repertoire provides exciting opportunities for exploring a range of vocal timbres in both ensemble singing and solo singing. In this session, we will explore the tools available to singers and directors for achieving a variety of timbres through the shaping of the vocal tract. Through live and recorded audio demonstrations, we will listen to and discuss differences in both acoustical sound and amplified sound resulting from vowel modifications and other changes to resonating spaces.