Vander Cook Sign 1 1

Where the most Inspired Musicians
become the most Inspiring Music Teachers

Summer 2023 MECA

Continuing Education Courses


Vocal Jazz Extravaganza!


June 5-July 28, 2023

Course Code



3 Graduate Credits


$1,080 is due in full with registration. A $15 early bird discount will be applied until April 14.


This class will deal with the many elements involved in rehearsing a vocal jazz ensemble.  Ability levels will range from beginning, with little or no knowledge to advanced.  Topics to be included, but not limited to, will be getting started, style, literature, rehearsal techniques, improvisation, sound systems, jazz piano skills, communications, public relations, and much more.  Each student will also be given several free digital resources from different vendors and publishers.


Guest Speakers:

Andrew Dahan (Niles North High School, Skokie IL):

Andrew Dahan

Andrew Dahan, originally from Skokie, IL, is the Director of Choirs at Niles North High School (Skokie, IL), where he directs all of the curricular choirs, and is also the head Vocal Jazz Director, and directs the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble Take One. From 2014-2018, he was Head of Music Education at Illinois Wesleyan University (Bloomington, IL), where he taught courses in in the Music Education program, and also founded and directed the IWU vocal jazz ensembles – Unlicensed Syncopation and Vocal Jazz Lab – during his tenure there. 

Dahan has served as an adjudicator at the Tiffin University ProMusic Festival (Tiffin, OH) and ChoralFest Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB), and has also served as a clinician for the JENerations Jazz Festival. He presented a session at the 2019 JEN conference (Reno, NV) about effective assessment for vocal jazz ensembles, and will present a session at the 2023 Illinois Music Education Conference about improvisation in different jazz styles. Most recently, he was an adjudicator at the 2022 Iowa Vocal Jazz Championships (Des Moines, IA). 

Dahan has also had the privilege of singing the National Anthem for the Miami Heat, and has sung as a background vocalist for notable performers such as George Benson, Gloria Estefan, Ben Folds, Raul Midón, and Steve Miller.  He holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from Northwestern University (Evanston, IL), and a Master of Music degree in Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Miami (Coral Gables, FL)

Roger Emerson (Professional Composer, Arranger and Educator):

Roger Emerson

Roger Emerson is a professional composer and arranger with over 900 choral titles in print and over 30 million copies in circulation. He is the most widely performed composer/arranger of popular choral music and vocal jazz in the world today. His works include the choral arrangements of Josh Groban’s, You Raise Me Up, Seasons of Love, from RENT, Defying Gravity from WICKED, Joyful, Joyful from SISTER ACT, Don’t Stop Believin’ from GLEE, and most recently, My Shot from HAMILTON. In addition, his vocal jazz arrangements of Over The Rainbow, Vincent, Blue Skies and I Wish are some of the most performed of all-time. Mr. Emerson has been the recipient of ASCAP’s Standard Award for 30 years running and his works have been performed at the White House, Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center. He is in constant demand as a lecturer on pop music, vocal jazz and the changing voice and has appeared at numerous MENC, ACDA and JEN conferences.

Greg Jasperse (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI):

Greg Jasperse

Greg Jasperse is the Director of Vocal Jazz at Western Michigan University and also the director of Gold Company, WMU’s award-winning vocal jazz ensemble. He also serves as the director of the annual WMU New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp.  No stranger to the stage or recording studio, his voice can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks including “Jurassic World”, “Epic”, “Oz, The Great and Powerful”, “The Campaign”, “Star Trek” and “Star Trek 2”, Disney’s “Sofia the First” as well as the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s “Monarchy of Roses” and “The 2nd Law” from Muse.  Greg is a member of Vertical Voices has also been honored to tour with the New York Voices.  He has performed with Adele, Imogen Heap, Jennifer Holiday, Joe Williams, Rosemary Clooney, Dianne Reeves and Bobby McFerrin among others.  His compositions and arrangements are performed around the world by many of today’s premier vocal ensembles including Chanticleer, the Philippine Madrigal Singers, the Los Angeles Master Chorale, Chicago Children’s Choir and the St. Olaf Choir.  His conducting credits include all-state vocal jazz ensembles in Washington, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Arizona, North Dakota, New York, California, Oklahoma, Indiana, Missouri, Colorado, New Hampshire, Illinois, Iowa as well as the British Columbia Honors Jazz Choir and Musicfest Canada’s Ellison Honour Choir.  He is a graduate of University of Miami and Western Michigan University.

Connaitre Miller (Howard University, Washington, D.C.):

Connaitre Miller 1

Connaitre Miller is currently Professor of Music and Jazz Voice Coordinator at Howard University, in Washington, D.C.  Ms. Miller is the founder and director of the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble “Afro Blue,” teaches vocal jazz improvisation, vocal jazz arranging, and studio jazz voice.   Preceding her tenure at HU, Connaitre built a well-respected jazz voice program at the Elder Conservatorium of Music in Adelaide, South Australia, and taught at CSU Long Beach and Cypress Community College in California.  Connaitre conducts clinics and workshops throughout the country and abroad on jazz vocal improvisation, and jazz choir techniques.  She has appeared as guest artist and clinician for multiple university jazz festivals throughout the U.S. and has served as the conductor for several All-State Jazz Choirs. Connaitre has received the Jazz Education Achievement Award by Downbeat Magazine, and was recently honored by the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra as one of the leading women in jazz.  Connaitre received her Bachelors and Master’s degrees from Kansas State University in Vocal Music Education (BME) and Piano Performance (MM), and pursued post-graduate study at the University of Northern Colorado in Choral Conducting and Jazz Pedagogy.  

Natalie Wilson (Grass Valley Elementary School, Camas, WA):

Natalie WIlson

Natalie Wilson has served 35+ years as a music educator in the Camas, Washington school district. Following her first 18 years teaching choir/vocal jazz at the secondary level, she currently teaches K-5 General Music and vocal jazz at Grass Valley Elementary.  She is an active conference presenter, composer/arranger, clinician, and author. 

Natalie’s elementary (grades 3-5) ensemble “Grass Valley VOCAL JAZZ” (GVVJ) has earned several DownBeat Magazine Student Music Awards for Outstanding Performance in the junior high division and were a 2019 co-winner of the division. Her elementary ensembles also performed at the 2006 IAJE NY and 2012 WMEA conferences. Natalie composes and arranges many of the pieces they perform. As a clinician, Natalie has presented sessions on elementary vocal jazz concepts for university student organizations and at state, regional, and national conferences of ACDA, NAfME, WMEA, and JEN where she also leads the K-8 Education Committee for General Music and Vocal Jazz. 

Natalie is recognized in the WMEA 2020 Hall of Fame and as a semi-finalist for the 2019 Give a Note Foundation “Innovator” Award. She has received a 2018 “Tenuto Award” from the Friends of Frank DeMiero Jazz Festival, a 2014 and 2012 Regional Outstanding Music Educator Award, and “The Innovator” Camas School District 2013 Employee of the Year Award. Natalie holds an undergraduate degree from Western Washington University and a master’s degree from Portland State University. She continues to compose, arrange, present, and thoroughly enjoys sharing jazz as America’s cultural music.




Chat Session

Tuesday Evenings, June 6 - July 25, 2023, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM (CT)



Learning Platform Information - Online Courses Only

Schoology is a learning management system that allows you to interact directly with your instructors, fellow students, and members of the greater VanderCook community.

The evening  before your class begins, be on the lookout for an email from Schoology with log-in instructions. Once you receive credentials, visit to login. 

Some courses have specific online chat meeting times (please see course descriptions), while others have a flexible meeting schedule. You can expect all courses to meet together in a live online chat. If a live meeting time doesn’t work, you can work with your instructor to make other arrangements.

More information about Schoology can be found at

Please see specific software/hardware requirements in the course description.

Online course grades are available within two weeks of the course(s) completion.  If you need a transcript, please CLICK HERE to access the online transcript request form. For a faster turnaround time, please submit the transcript request to the registrar prior to the end of your course(s).


Daniel Gregerman 1

Daniel Gregerman

Daniel Gregerman is Director of Vocal Jazz at Glenbrook South High School in Glenview, Illinois. Prior to that he spent 30 years as Choral Director at Niles North High School in Skokie, Illinois building an award-winning choral program of five concert choirs and three vocal jazz ensembles. Applying his deep passion for jazz combined with a love of opening doors for the next generation, he founded the acclaimed NNHS vocal jazz program. In addition, Gregerman also founded and hosted the Niles North Vocal Jazz Festival for eighteen years. In 2014 he was named the John LaPorta Jazz Educator of the Year by the Jazz Education Network and the Berklee School of Music. Dan’s approach to music education broadened the scope of opportunities in his program beyond vocalists. This technical side of music drew in a whole new population of students to participate in the vocal jazz program. Sound Crew not only became a new branch in the program but also a launch pad for those students who had an interest in sound engineering as a future career path. This passion for mixing and sound engineering led to the design and implementation of a full-blown recording studio at Niles North High School which included a control room, two main recording studios and six isolation rooms/booths. Gregerman’s career started as a choral and band director at McHenry High School in McHenry, IL where he was the assistant band director and head choral director. As assistant band director he was responsible for directing the marching band, (of which he wrote the drill), as well as directing and arranging for the school pep band. His groups have earned national recognition performing at regional and national conferences, won multiple Down Beat awards, and performed at festivals both nationally and internationally. Gregerman’s ensembles shared the stage with such names as Diane Schuur, The New York Voices, The Real Group, Take Six, Groove For Thought, and Janis Segal of The Manhattan Transfer. Known composers such as Jennifer Barnes, Kerry Marsh, Michele Weir, Kirby Shaw, Greg Jaspers, and Gary Fry created musical arrangements and compositions for his ensembles. Gregerman also served in a variety of leadership roles within the community of education. He is a founding member of the Jazz Education Network, (JEN), and volunteers in a variety of roles. Past positions include the Education Committee Chair, Conference Office Coordinator, and a member of the Board of Directors. He is currently the Chair of the Scholarship & Awards Committee. Gregerman has held positions as State and District Chairman of Vocal Jazz for ILMEA, and has been Guest Director for the ILMEA All-State Jazz Choir and several District Jazz Festivals. When not teaching he can be found at vocal jazz festivals and competitions as a judge and clinician for vocal groups both locally and nationally. Gregerman earned his Bachelor of Music Education from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL and a Master of Music Degree with an emphasis in Choral Conducting and Jazz Studies from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. Dan and his wife Sandy share two children making the perfect quartet; the family resides on the North Shore of Chicago.

The mission of VanderCook College of Music is to enrich the lives of present and future generations by developing uniquely skilled music teachers who exhibit strong character, professionalism, and a commitment to excellence.

© 2023 VanderCook College of Music. All Rights Reserved.
Scroll to Top