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élan ensemble wows Florida audience with vocal jazz performance

Under the direction of Stephen A. Futrell, élan performs for a packed house at Jacksonville's historic Florida Theatre.

élan performing at Florida Theatre

Elon University's vocal jazz ensemble traveled to Jacksonville, Fla., for a March 7 invited performance as part of a conference for the Southern Division of the American Choral Directors Association.

"This was a fantastic opportunity for the students and amazing exposure for our choral program and Elon University," said Associate Professor Stephen A. Futrell, director of choral activities at Elon. "The students did a great job and represented themselves and the institution well." 

In addition, the ensemble appeared as part of a presentation Futrell made at the conference. A recognized expert in vocal technique and health, particularly relative to choral singing and singing popular styles, Futrell received an invitation to present a session focusing on vocal technique and style, rehearsal technique, mic technique and sound reinforcement which included élan.

élan onstage for sound check

For élan to appear in the presentation, Futrell was required to submit audio recordings of the ensemble to a panel of experts adjudicating hundreds of recordings submitted from across the division.

"The end result was an invitation for élan to also appear on the Friday night all-conference concert which featured headliners The New York Voices," Futrell said. "I'm very proud of the students' accomplishment and of the level of professionalism and artistry they displayed on-stage to a packed house of over 1,500 convention attendees.

"It's the first time in the history of our department that an ensemble has been invited to perform for a professional conference at this level and of this size."

élan in dressing room

The ACDA Southern Division is comprised of 11 southeastern states. Professional choral directors from elementary through high school as well as community and professional ensembles were in attendance at the conference.

Stephen Futrell,
3/14/2014 10:05 AM