Katelyn Dietz recently finished her Master’s of Music in Vocal Jazz Performance at Western Michigan University, studying under Greg Jasperse. There, she served as the Graduate Teaching Assistant for the Vocal Jazz department and the world-renowned Gold Company program. Katelyn received three 2021 Downbeat Student Music Awards for Graduate College Blues/Pop/Rock Soloist, Vocal Jazz Arrangement, and Large Vocal Jazz Ensemble (as a member of Gold Company). Before in-person opportunities were affected by the pandemic, she performed with Gold Company at the Jazz Education Network Conference in New Orleans, LA, and served as the Head Music Producer for GC42: Love Is…, and published two of her arrangements in the show. Katelyn further served the WMU School of Music community as the Camp Manager for the New York Voices Vocal Jazz Camp and as a counselor for Seminar, and also performed with University Chorale under the direction of Dr. Kimberly Dunn-Adams. Before arriving in Michigan, Katelyn lived in Los Angeles, California for a year, spending the holiday season caroling with The Other Reindeer and TCE Carolers. She is now touring the country throughout the year, chasing good weather and exciting musical opportunities as a new “van-lifer.”
In May 2017, Katelyn graduated summa cum laude from the State University of New York at Fredonia with degrees in Theatre Arts and Applied Voice with a Concentration in Jazz Studies. For two years, she served as Music Director for Dynamic Intonation, Fredonia’s only contemporary jazz a cappella group, and The Riveters, an all-female pop a cappella group. She was also one of The Riveters’ main arrangers. Both groups have opened for and performed with a variety of other collegiate groups, as well as professional ensembles including Overboard and m-pact.
As a freshman at Fredonia, Katelyn organized a vocal jazz octet at the request of Bruce Johnstone, then-Director of Jazz Studies, to perform with Matt Catingub as he guest-conducted the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The Fredonia Voices (inspired by New York Voices) would be praised for their stand-out debut feature, The Buffalo News noting “amazingly, this was reportedly their first public performance. They were terrific – smooth, suave and tight.” The Fredonia Voices performed twice with the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra in Cleveland and Fredonia, returned to the BPO with Matt Catingub, and headlined alongside their namesake, New York Voices, in 2017.
Katelyn also cultivates an interest in various styles outside of her pursuits in jazz. For six summers, Katelyn has served as Associate Music Director and in-house a cappella arranger for Rochester Broadway Theatre League’s musical theatre bootcamp, Summer Stars, alongside numerous Broadway veterans and under the artistic direction of Nikki Snelson. In 2016, Katelyn spent five months studying Irish Traditional Song at the Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, and attended the Inishowen Song & Ballad Seminar for two years. While studying alongside the Academy’s Voice and Dance majors, Katelyn was a featured soloist in their Gospel, Chant, and Musical Theatre Ensembles, and has been called a “vocal chameleon” by retired Fredonia Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Donald Lang.