Indiana University

Browse By Topic


For Journalists

Music Publicity
Phone: 812-855-9846
E-mail: musicpub[at]indiana [dot] edu

IU Jacobs School of Music appoints Steve Zegree to faculty and as director of Singing Hoosiers

May 17, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The Indiana University Jacobs School of Music has announced that internationally recognized vocal jazz conductor and educator Steve Zegree will join its faculty in the fall as the Pam and Jack Burks Professor of Music and director of the legendary Singing Hoosiers.

The appointment of Zegree -- a conductor, pianist, clinician, arranger and adjudicator of the highest order -- follows his recent induction into DownBeat magazine's Jazz Education Hall of Fame.

"Widely admired for his musical and pedagogical abilities, Steve Zegree has influenced our profession in countless ways," Jacobs School of Music Dean Gwyn Richards said. "His appointment to Indiana opens up exciting possibilities for future curriculum development in the areas of vocal jazz, arranging, vocal popular music and solo and ensemble performance."

"I am honored and excited to join the faculty at the Jacobs School of Music and humbled to serve as only the fourth director of the Singing Hoosiers, an ensemble with a storied tradition and legendary past," Zegree said. "I also look forward to working with both undergraduate and graduate students in the pursuit of musical excellence and achieving high artistic standards in the contemporary and popular vocal/choral arts, as well as vocal jazz."

"The future of the choral art is one in which the barriers between western art music, jazz, popular music, contemporary and new music, and world and folk music no longer apply," said William Jon Gray, chair of the Jacobs School's Choral Department. "For this and many other reasons, we are excited to welcome Steve Zegree to the choral faculty. His visionary career at the forefront of leadership, performance and teaching in the areas of vocal jazz and vocal popular music, combined with his substantial credentials in choral conducting and choral literature, helps ensure that our ensemble and conducting students will receive cutting-edge training and experience in all genres of ensemble performance, enabling them to become the next generation of leaders who shape the future of the choral art."

"On behalf of the Singing Hoosiers alumni, we look forward to Steve's appointment as director of the Singing Hoosiers and are impressed by the breadth of experience he brings to the job," said Cullen McCarty, president of the Singing Hoosiers Alumni Board. "Steve's willingness to carry on the traditions of the Singing Hoosiers will go a long way toward the evolution of the ensemble. As the new director, he will be welcomed into the family as our own and, as alumni, we will give him and the group all the support they need to succeed."

With a bachelor's degree (cum laude) from Miami University, a master's degree from the Jacobs School of Music and a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Zegree presently serves as the Bobby McFerrin Distinguished Professor of Music at Western Michigan University.

Zegree's students are among today's leaders in jazz and pop performance, Broadway, recording studio production, writing, arranging, singing and music education. Juggling a busy career as a pianist, conductor and clinician, he regularly travels throughout the Americas and to Europe, Asia and Africa.

Zegree's internationally acclaimed vocal jazz ensemble, Gold Company, has won numerous Outstanding Performance awards from DownBeatmagazine and has performed at the Music Educators National Conference and American Choral Directors Association national conventions, International Association for Jazz Education international conferences, the World Symposium on Choral Music and several major jazz festivals. The ensemble has performed with recognized artists including Bobby McFerrin, Janis Siegel, Jon Hendricks, Darmon Meader, Mark Murphy, Don Shelton and Bonnie Herman. Zegree is also founder of the Steve Zegree Vocal Jazz Camp, held every summer at Western Michigan University.

Zegree's choral arrangements have been published by Hal Leonard, Alfred Publications, Shawnee Press and Oxford University Press, and he has produced several recordings, including "Mark Murphy Sings the Nat King Cole Songbook" (Vol. I and II) on Muse Records, which received a Grammy Award nomination. His piano CD, "Steve Zegree and Friends," is released on the Sea Breeze Jazz label.

As pianist with the Western Jazz Quartet, he has recorded four CDs and performed internationally. In addition, he performed on keyboards in the national tours of several Broadway musicals, including "Wicked," "The Producers" and "Hairspray." Zegree auditioned, arranged for and rehearsed Nick Lachey's "Team Lachey," the winning choir on NBC's "Clash of the Choirs."

Zegree's first book, "The Complete Guide to Teaching Vocal Jazz," is published by Heritage Music Press, a division of Lorenz Music Publishing. His recent book, "The Wow Factor: How to Create It, Inspire It and Achieve It," is published by Hal Leonard Music Publications. He is a Steinway artist.

All appointments to Indiana University are subject to the approval of the Trustees of Indiana University.