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Jazz Ensembles

Jazz Ensembles are open to all UMass Amherst & 5-College students, by audition (not just Music majors).

See below for audition information. Contact Prof. Holmes for more info about instrumental ensembles; contact Prof. Jensen-Hole for info about Vocal Jazz Ensemble.


Fall 2022: Instrumental Jazz Ensemble Auditions will be held on the first week of classes (Sept. 6-8), in the large ensemble rehearsal space, Rm. 44 (except Drumset auditions, in 149M).
Click for the Audition Info sheet and the Audition Sign-up sheet
Please contact Jazz TA Keenan Asbridge at with sign-up questions. You may also contact Prof. Holmes or Prof. Giampietro with any questions about auditions.

See below for Vocal Jazz Ensemble info & audition music.

Fall 2022 jazz instrumental audition music: Thad Jones' Three and One. Please note that the 1/4 note can be played between 120 and 160 and that the piece (two pages for each instrument) must be learned both as a swing piece (as it was originally performed) AND as a Straight 8th piece.

Saxes, pg. 1  pg. 2
Trumpets/Vibes/Flute, pg. 1  pg. 2
Trombone (tenor), pg. 1  pg. 2
Bass Trombone/Tuba, pg. 1  pg. 2
Piano/Guitar, pg. 1  pg. 2 (pg. 2 is trumpet part for assessing single line reading)
Bass, pg. 1  pg. 2
Drums, pg. 1  pg. 2

Vocal Jazz Ensemble (Fall 2022): Auditions held Sept. 7-9, for everyone. Please sign up outside Room 149N or contact Prof. Jensen-Hole to schedule your audition.
Click for Info sheet, Fall 2022.  Questions, contact Prof. Jensen-Hole.
Fall 2022 Audition music: Soprano-Alto  Tenor-Bass

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.

Felipe Salles and Thomas Giampietro, directors
Presents traditional big-band literature, experimental compositions, and pop and rock music.

This big-band ensemble performs a varied repertoire, and is conducted by Graduate Jazz majors.

VOCAL JAZZ ENSEMBLE   Audition Info sheetContact Prof. Jensen-Hole
Excerpts-Soprano/Alto   Excerpts-Tenor/Bass
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.

Jazz Faculty and Jazz Graduate students, directors/coaches 
Multiple ensembles perform standard and student-written materials in concert and weekly recital settings.

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)