Darden Purcell is a well respected educator and vocal coach. Dr. Purcell is the Director of Jazz Studies, Jazz Voice instructor and director of the award-winning Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble at George Mason University.
Dr. Purcell's ensembles have performed in Jazz festivals and at conferences throughout the nation, including the Kansas City Jazz Summit, New York Voices Festival (Chicago), Western Michigan Gold Company Invitational (Kalamazoo, MI), Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference (Louisville, KY), JENerations Jazz Festival (New Orleans) and Tiffin University's "Accent Vocal Festival" (Tiffin, OH). The Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble was a featured collegiate group at the 2018 Jazz Education Network (JEN) conference in Dallas TX. In 2020, Dr Purcell was a presenter at the Virtual Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) conference as well as a featured performer for the Jazz Education Network Virtual conference.
She has served as faculty on camps nationwide, including W.O. Smith Music Camp (Nashville), Illinois Summer Youth Music (Champaign, IL) Mason Summer Jazz Workshop, MAT Camp (Wyoming), Augusta Heritage Center Summer Camp (West Virginia), National Jazz Workshop and is the host of the Mason Jazz Camp at George Mason University.
Universities, Conferences and events where Darden has presented and/or performed as a guest artist, adjudicator or clinician:
American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Southern Region Conference
Charter 100 DC
Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Competition
Illinois Wesleyan Jazz Festival
ISSMA State Show Choir and Jazz Vocal Finals
Jazz Education Network (JEN)
National Press Club
PMEA District 7 Jazz Festival
PMEA District 9 Jazz Festival
Southern Nazarene University Vocal Jazz Festival
Texas Tech University
Tiffin University "Accent Vocal Festival"
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
University of Mary Washington Jazz Festival
Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA)
Darden's students have won "Outstanding Soloist" and "Outstanding Musicianship" awards at collegiate festivals, DownBeat Student Music awards, military band positions and finalist positions in the Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Competition. The Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble was awarded "Outstanding Ensemble" at the Kansas City Jazz Summit and has shared the stage with the New York Voices, The Manhattan Transfer and international A Cappella group, ACCENT. Spring 2023, the MJVE was awarded a DOWNBEAT Student Music Award for "Outstanding Performance - Undergraduate College Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble."
Many thanks to Michelle Latour for the feature in Classical Singer Music Spotlight Series "Where I Last got Paid to Sing."
Jazz Education Network (JEN) - VA/DC Chapter Vice President
American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) - Virginia ACDA Vocal Jazz Resource and Repertoire Chair
Virginia American Choral Directors Association "Harmony" newsletter
Darden is certified in Somatic Voicework™ The LoVetri Method, levels I and II and has had the honor of serving as an adjudicator for the Ella Fitzgerald Vocal Jazz Competition hosted by the Blues Alley Jazz Society 2017 through 2022.
Dr. Purcell provides private instruction for ages (high school and up) and is available for master classes and vocal workshops.