The Jazz Studies Program, a Bachelor of Music curriculum developed by Tom Wolfe and directed by Chris Kozak, is a program dedicated to the detailed study of jazz performance and arranging/composition. This degree, established on the firm foundation of the Arranging Program developed by Professor Steve Sample, is on the cutting edge of the curricula needed by versatile musicians.
It is also a strong foundational degree for continued graduate studies. Our graduates have performed professionally in groups such as: Glenn Miller Orchestra, Woody Herman’s Thundering Herd, The Temptations, Lee Greenwood, Tommy Dorsey Big Band, and The Blues Brothers to name a few. Many of our graduates have gone on to write professionally, such as: composer for artists like Della Reese, The Temptations, film scores for the History and Nature channels, been professional copyists, orchestrators, and edited music for companies like CPP Belwin.
The fine tradition of our ensembles continues in the Jazz Ensemble, directed by Chris Kozak. Also offered is a combo program, coached by Tom Wolfe, Mark Lanter, and Jazz Studies GTA’s, which provides the opportunity to perform in a small group setting. Our award winning jazz performance groups have performed throughout the United States at festivals such as: Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, Wichita Jazz Festival, Mobile Jazz Festival, and New York University Jazz Festival. The ensemble has also performed in France and the Carribean. Some of the excellent guests and clinicians of our Jazz Program have included Donny McCaslin, Dave Douglas, Jeff Coffin, Matt Wilson, Randy Brecker, Dizzy Gillespie, Rick Margitza, Gene Bertoncini, Jamey Aebersold, Jerry Tachoir, Birch Johnson, Gunther Schuller, Ken Watters, Cleveland Eaton, the Lincoln Center Sextet and Jimmy Walker.