The Director

Dr. Art Lapierre is currently the director of the American River College Vocal Jazz Ensembles and teaches private voice in Sacramento, CA. Under Dr. Lapierre's leadership the Vocal Jazz Program offers Vocal Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Choir. We encourage you to come sing with us! Dr. Lapierre also conducts vocal jazz workshops and clinics both in the United States and Europe. Prior to his tenure at ARC, Dr. Lapierre directed the Vocal Jazz Ensemble and taught private voice at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA. Dr. Lapierre has previously received recognition by Down Beat Magazine for his work directing the Polytechnic High School Vocal Jazz Ensemble in Long Beach, CA.

Vocal Jazz Ensemble

The advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble is comprised of a small group of singers usually 6 to 12 in number. Participation in this ensemble is limited by an audition held each Fall during the first week of the semester. This premier ensemble frequently travels throughout the state and the nation to perform at clinics, workshops, festivals and conventions. Past trips include performances in Toronto, New Orleans, Chicago, Tucson, Long Beach, and New York. The ensemble has received numerous awards and critical acclaim from DownBeat Magazine, the Jazz Educators Network, the International Association of Jazz Educators and the American Choral Directors Association. The ensemble records annually and studio singing is a significant part of your experience. Though the time commitment for this ensemble is extensive, your experiences with peers and faculty will help prepare you for both live jazz performance and studio work.

Jazz Choir

The Jazz Choir is a great place to begin singing jazz! The Jazz Choir is comprised of a large group of singers with an emphasis on developing your jazz singing skill set. This is a fun "hang" with other newbie singers who have an interest in jazz and want to know more. Performances are generally limited to the campus and an occasional local gig or festival. The time commitment for the Jazz Choir is less extensive than that of the more advanced Vocal Jazz Ensemble. For more information, contact Dr. Art Lapierre.