All-State Jazz Choir

Missouri All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble

General Information

The Missouri All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble is a unique performance group.  MCDA is pleased to offer this opportunity to students currently in 11th or 12th grade and at the college/university level.  Clinicians for this ensemble are some of the most well-known and recognized teachers and artists in the vocal jazz industry in the United States.  This ensemble is a two-time recipient of the prestigious DOWNBEAT Award and performs at the Missouri Choral Directors Association Conference each summer.

Audition Information

The window for submitting an audition recording is currently open and will close on May 1, 2020.   Please read specific information regarding the audition process below and make sure to fill out the Google Form.  If you have any questions, please email Ben Silvermintz at  The audition fee for this ensemble is $16 and checks should be made out to MCDA.  The google form provides more information regarding where to send fees.

FILL OUT this Google Form and email your recordings:

Audition Submission Instructions

2020 MCDA All-State Vocal Jazz Ensemble Audition Information

1. All auditions need to be submitted by a member of MCDA. For high school students, that’s your teacher. For college students, please contact Ben Silvermintz at for assistance.

2. Your audition should be recorded in the following format:

a. Introduction (name, year in school, school name).

b. Range demonstration - briefly vocalize on a simple five-note warm-up, moving up to your best singable high note and down to your best singable low note.

Complete a maximum of 3 sets up to your highest note and down to your lowest note.

c. Singing Excerpt 1

i. Record yourself singing “Centerpiece” with the provided track and sheet music. There is no piano introduction.

ii. There is a one-measure count-off and you begin singing. Continue singing as written (with appropriate inflections/style choices) through measure 28.

iii. When you reach measure 28, you will begin a 12-measure “scat” improvisation section. You may use your own improvisation or borrow from/use the one provided. This portion of the audition concludes at measure 40.

iv. Tip: check out one of the recordings by Lambert, Hendricks & Ross.

d. Singing Excerpt 2

i. Learn your part of the one-page excerpt of “Emily” by Kerry Marsh. The excerpt begins at 0:55 seconds. Use the provided part tracks for assistance.

ii. Record yourself singing your part with the full mix recording (meaning the recording is playing your part as well as the other three parts).

If you have any questions, please email Ben Silvermintz (

We want this audition process to be simple and user-friendly so that you feel it’s the best representation of your singing. 

No cash or purchase orders

All materials must be submitted, uploaded, and postmarked no later than May 1, 2020      


About the Clinician
David von Kampen (b. 1986) is a composer based in Lincoln, Nebraska. David’s creative work spans a wide variety of genres and styles, including jazz, choral music, hymnody and liturgy, solo voice, chamber music, and musical theater. He holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas, and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the University of Nebraska. He has studied composition with James Barnes, Dan Gailey, Forrest Pierce, Eric Richards, and Randall Snyder.

David is a six-time Downbeat Award winner in graduate-level jazz writing categories, a finalist for the American Prize in composition, and was named the MTNA Distinguished Composer of the Year for his song cycle "Under the Silver and Home Again." He has been among ten winners of the ORTUS International New Music Competition, the recipient of an ASCAP Young Jazz Composer award, winner of the San Francisco Choral Artists New Voices Project, winner of the National Band Association’s Young Jazz Composers Competition, and received Honorable Mention in the New York Youth Symphony First Music Commissions. Puddin’ and the Grumble, David’s original musical with playwright Becky Boesen, was one of seven finalists for the Richard Rodgers award.

David has over 80 choral and instrumental compositions and arrangements published with Walton Music, G. Schirmer, Hal Leonard, Santa Barbara, Concordia Publishing House, Pavane Publishing, UNC Jazz Press, Graphite Publishing, MusicSpoke, and others. His music has been performed by the KHORIKOS Vocal Ensemble, the Cambridge Chamber Singers, the L.A. Choral Lab, KC VITAs Chamber Choir, the Taiwan Youth Festival Chorus, San Francisco Choral Artists, the U.S. Army Blues Jazz Ensemble, the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and by collegiate, all-state, high school, and church ensembles throughout the United States and internationally.

David is a lecturer of music theory and literature at the University of Nebraska, where he directs the UNL Jazz Singers and Jazz Orchestra. He also teaches applied composition at Concordia University, Neb., and serves as Music Coordinator for Sanctuary Worship at Christ Lutheran Church in Lincoln. David is a member of ASCAP, the Jazz Education Network, and the American Choral Directors Association. He is active as a conductor and pianist, and as a clinician for vocal and instrumental ensembles. He lives in Lincoln with his wife Mollie and two daughters.

Participation Information