CSULB group named best collegiate vocal jazz ensemble by Downbeat; captures top honors at jazz fest

<strong>Pacific Standard Time is a highly select 12-member ensemble which requires refined musicianship and improvisation skills. The group performs a wide variety of vocal music in the jazz genre.</strong>

April has been a good month for Pacific Standard Time, the top vocal jazz ensemble in Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) Bob Cole Conservatory of Music.
The CSULB group has just been named winner of the 2010 award for Best Vocal Jazz Ensemble in the collegiate division as part of DownBeat Magazine’s 34th annual Student Music Awards list. The magazine selects a roster of the best in student jazz from all over the nation, giving recognition to middle school, high school, college and university programs, along with kudos for individual efforts by arrangers, soloists and composers.
“The vocal jazz program has received awards for five of the last six years,” noted Christine Guter, CSULB’s director of vocal jazz. “Last year, Pacific Standard Time received ‘outstanding performance’ for its submission, but this is the first time our program has been named winner of the collegiate vocal jazz category.”
Jeff Jarvis, head of Jazz Studies at CSULB added: “Since 1934, Downbeat Magazine has been a leading voice for jazz and jazz education. The awards earned by our Cole Conservatory jazz students are major accomplishments. We are extremely proud of these students for honoring themselves and the CSULB Jazz Studies program with this international recognition.”
Earlier this month, the vocal jazz group captured top honors in the College Vocal Ensemble Division at The Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival, and in doing so was awarded a score of 299 out of a possible 300 points from the trio of adjudicators.
For taking first place in their division, Pacific Standard Time has been invited back to perform at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival, which will take place Sept. 16–18. CSULB also received a $1,000 award for its vocal jazz program.
“I’ve never seen scores like that in my life,” Guter said. “I’m tremendously proud of my students and the hard work and dedication they have demonstrated to get to such a high level of music making and artistry. The greatest honor is getting to come back and perform at the 54th Annual Monterey Jazz Festival in September. It will be an experience that will greatly impact our young singer’s musical journeys, and one they will never forget.”
At the Next Generation Festival, CSULB’s Concert Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Jarvis, placed third in the College Big Band Division. Both groups were finalists and invited to the competition after being selected as one of the top six entries in their category based on submissions from all over the country.
Guter’s groups will close out their 2010-11 season with a spring concert on Friday, April 29, at 8pm in the University Theatre. The event will feature CSULB vocal jazz ensembles Pacific Standard Time and Jazz & Tonic. Tickets for the performance are $10 for general admission and $7 for students, seniors and CSULB faculty and staff. Tickets are available for purchase by phone at (562) 985-7000, at carpenterarts.org or at the door on the night of the performance.

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