The KCKCC Choral and Vocal Jazz Program
The primary objective of the Choral Music Program at KCKCC is to educate the students and the community about vocal ensemble music through stylistic variety and tonal diversity, based on historical precedent. This objective is achieved by exposing choir members to music of different nationalities and/or cultures and their commitment to recreate a unique tone quality that identifies with the cultural environment of each composition.
The KCKCC Vocal Jazz Program takes pride in performing high-level vocal jazz ensemble literature. The music within today’s program represents a crossover of the jazz and popular music idioms. The students in the Vocal Jazz program learn Jazz Education through a variety of methods. First of all, selected students per semester take private vocal jazz coachings weekly. Our students also perform music by professional vocal ensembles, arrangements by well-known vocal jazz educators, and learn jazz and popular music standards (both through the ensemble and within the private coachings). Our Vocal Jazz Program maintains a very actively performance schedule including performing at jazz festivals throughout the Midwest and major jazz clubs venues in the Kansas City Metro Area.
Meet the Director
John Stafford II is currently the Director of Choral Music Activities at Kansas City Kansas Community College, since 2010. He was previously appointed at Millikin University and Eastern Illinois University teaching music composition, theory and orchestration. He holds degrees from Millikin University, Bowling Green State University, with additional graduate studies at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Among his professional activities, Professor Stafford serves as the Jazz and Show Choir Chair of the Kansas Choral Directors Association; he is also a member of National Association for Music Educators, Jazz Educators Network, and American Choral Directors Association. Also, Stafford is the Director of Choral Music at Community Christian Church in Kansas City, MO.
Mr. Stafford maintains a high profile as a composer, arranger, and performer. Recent musical activities have included appearing as a bass vocalist with Kansas City ensembles, such as, the KC VITAS Chamber Choir and Spire Chamber Ensemble, back-up artist for Ben Folds and the St. Louis Symphony, publishing choral works through the Roger Dean Company and Sound Music Publications. His composition, Humanity, I Love You, was recorded and released through First Step Records in 2013. His other choral and chamber music has been performed throughout North America and Europe. The University of Oregon's Waging Peace Through Singing, an international competition for choral music on the theme of peace, has recognized his work. He has also received recognition from other organizations such as American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, the Society of Composers Inc. (both national and regional conferences), the National Federation of Music Clubs, Electronic Music Midwest, and Primavera En La Habana 2004 (Spring in Havana) International Electroacoustic Music Festival in Havana, Cuba. He was selected as a finalist for the IV Edition Pierre Schaeffer International Competition of Computer Music in Italy. In addition, members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, New York New Music Ensemble, the Hradec Kralove Men's Chorus (Czech Republic), the Gregg Smith Singers, Chicago A cappella, the New York Treble Singers and the Anti-Social New Music Ensemble (New York City) had performed his music.