Jazz Ensembles are open to all UMass Amherst & 5-College students, by audition. See below for audition information. Contact Prof. Holmes for more info. Please contact Prof. Jensen-Hole for info about Vocal Jazz Ensemble.
Visit the JAZZ STUDIES WEBPAGE.
Instrumental Jazz Ensemble Auditions will be held on Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday, Sept. 1, 2, & 3, 2021. Click for the Fall '21 Audition sign-up sheet (Google doc). All students playing in jazz ensembles must audition. Please contact Prof. Holmes or Prof. Giampietro with any questions about auditions.Fall 2021 jazz instrumental audition music (Don Menza's Time Check as played by Buddy Rich, medium up-tempo. Students need not play it as fast as Buddy Rich; half note can be around 110):
Link to Buddy Rich version on YouTube
Vocal Jazz Ensemble (Fall 2021): Auditions held Sept. 1-3; please contact Prof. Jensen-Hole to schedule your audition.
Click for Info sheet, fall 2021 (coming soon). Questions, contact Prof. Jensen-Hole.
Fall 2021 Audition music: Soprano-Alto Tenor-Bass
JAZZ ENSEMBLE I/STUDIO ORCHESTRA
Jeffrey W. Holmes, director
This award-winning Big Band has gained national and international recognition including top honors at major collegiate jazz festivals and conferences, and ensemble, individual performing, and writing citations from Downbeat Magazine's Annual Student Music Awards. Guest jazz artists commonly are featured with this ensemble. Strings, winds and percussion augment Jazz Ensemble I to form the Studio Orchestra, seven times named Best Collegiate Studio Orchestra and three times Best Blues/Pop/Rock Ensemble by Downbeat. Faculty and student works are performed prominently along with significant historic repertoire.
Click here to listen to live performances of Oliver Nelson's "There's A Yearnin'" and Irving Berlin's "Let's Face the Music and Dance" by the UMass Studio Orchestra conducted by Jeff Holmes.
JAZZ LAB ENSEMBLE
This big-band ensemble performs a varied repertoire, and is conducted by Graduate Jazz majors.
VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE Audition Info (Fall 2020) Contact Prof. Jensen-Hole
Catherine Jensen-Hole, director
The primary ensemble for vocal jazz studies, it has been named Best Collegiate Jazz Choir by Downbeat magazine. Consisting of 8-12 singers and a rhythm section that is often augmented by horns, the ensemble performs both standard and contemporary jazz repertoire arranged by faculty, students and nationally-recognized vocal jazz arrangers.
CHAMBER JAZZ ENSEMBLES
Jazz Faculty and Jazz Graduate students, directors/coaches
Multiple ensembles perform standard and student-written materials in concert and weekly recital settings.
JAZZ IN JULY
This Fine Arts Center two-week summer program, although not a part of Music Department curricula or degree programs, takes place in the Music wing of the Fine Arts Center and includes jazz faculty members from the Department. (To learn more, please visit the Jazz in July website)