MUA 167/367/567: Jazz Combo

Prof. Christopher Kozak & Prof. Mark Lanter
1 credit hour


Audition required.

Course Description

The Jazz Combos are performance groups that explores the repertoire for the small group or combo, with emphasis being placed on the portion of the jazz repertoire known as the Jazz Standards. These groups are for any level of improviser. An audition is required for placement.

Course Goals & Objectives

To increase the student’s skills in sight reading, improvising, theory, ensemble playing, stylistic concepts, etc. All combo assignments are made based on the students level of proficiency, specifically the ability to improvise.

Required Materials

The following is expected of ALL members of the ensemble:

  • All doubles/accessories are required and expected of all musicians.
  • Mutes: harmon, straight, cup
  • Flugel horns
  • Soprano sax, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet doubles
  • Electric bass
  • Pencils


Once combo assignments are made, the rehearsal schedule will be set. Each combo will rehearse one hour twice a week. All tunes will be memorized for rehearsal and performance. It is strongly recommended that soloists utilize the Improvisation Lab for additional work on their respective solos.

Policies & Procedures

Grading System

Grading will be based on the student’s preparation, musicality, attitude, attendance, and overall ability to work within the structure of the ensemble. The student’s final grade will be drawn from grades received for each component of the course:

95%-100% = A
90%-94% = A-
86%-89% = B+
82%-85% = B
79%-81% = B-
75%-78% = C+
71%-74% = C
68%-70% = C-
64%-67% = D+
60%-63% = D
57%-59% = D-
0%-56% = F

Attendance Policy

Attendance of all classes and performances is expected. Two absences from class will result in lowering the final grade by one letter. Extended absences will result in dismissal from the ensemble. Any extenuating circumstances must be immediately discussed with Chris Kozak.

The overall policy of the course is to be prepared for all rehearsals. The rehearsals are for ensemble work, not individualized practice. Always take your music with you for personal practice! It is also expected that the section leaders will call sectionals for rehearsal of section material (preferably, once a week). Notify Tom Wolfe in advance if the section leader would like to have him present for the sectional. Rehearsals will always start on time.


The Jazz Combo’s will go on some run-outs and/or perform for Convocation during the academic year. I will notify you immediately as these are scheduled.