The School for Music Vocations

The SMV (School for Music Vocations), in Creston, Iowa, is based out of Southwestern Community College.  It is the only 2-year vocational music program in the United States, earning students an Associate's Degree in Professional Music.


The SMV Chamber Singers is a select vocal ensemble specializing in vocal chamber works from the Renaissance to the present, including larger works by major composers. Open to all students by audition, the choir performs frequently and takes an extended annual tour in late fall. Emphasis is on developing stylistic awareness, aesthetic sensitivity and a mature musicianship in each singer.  The Chamber Singers perform and record extensively.  Dr. Jeremy Fox and Ryan Howe conduct.   



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First Take is a six-member vocal ensemble focusing on a variety of vocal jazz literature, both a cappella and with rhythm section.  First Take performs in regional concerts, and tours nationally each spring. Members of the ensemble are often on faculty each summer at the SMV Vocal Jazz Camps, which are in their 16th summer taking place, this year in Iowa, and in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Directed this year by Dr. Jeremy Fox,  the ensemble is open to all students at the colleges by audition.



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Audio Radiance is a five- to six- member vocal ensemble focusing on R&B/Soul literature, as well as cutting-edge vocal ensemble literature.  Audio Radiance performs in regional concerts, and tours nationally each spring. Currently directed by Ryan Howe, the ensemble is open to all students by audition.

Vocal Fusion and the NINES are a four- member vocal ensembles focusing on vocal jazz/contemporary ensemble literature.  Vocal Fusion is directed by Lucas Mattson, and sings among other things, literature written by their director. The NINES is co-directed by Kathryn Fox and student directed in 2019 by Lawson Roof. Both groups also perform in regional concerts, and tour each spring.



The SMV traditionally has at least one or two instrumental combos at the school, emphasizing different styles of music.  The ensembles, from 4-8 players, and often including horns, typically tour regionally each year. In 2019, the ensemble toured Kansas City.