Jazz Ensembles

SSU has several jazz ensembles offering a wide variety of performance opportunities on and off-campus. Students are also encouraged to compose or arrange for these groups:

SSU Jazz Orchestra
An 18-piece big band specializing in the finest classic and modern repertoire, directed by Doug Leibinger.
Concert Jazz Ensembles
Small groups focusing on improvisation and building standard and contemporary repertoire, directed by Kasey Knudsen, Dave Scott & Kendrick Freeman.
Latin Jazz Ensemble
An awareness of other musical languages gives perspective to the practice of jazz. This ensemble provides an introduction to various styles, rhythms and concepts found in music from the Caribbean, Brazil and Haiti, delivered with an improviser's sensibility.

Auditions for SSU Jazz Ensembles

Auditions for SSU Jazz Ensembles, including:

Jazz Orchestra (MUS 390) - W 7:00-9:40 PM (Leibinger)
Horace Silver Ensemble (MUS 391) M 1:00-3:40 PM (Knudsen)
Concert Jazz Ensemble II (MUS 391) T 9:25-10:40 AM (Scott)
Latin Jazz Band (MUS 379) TH 4:00-5:15 PM (Freeman)
Concert Jazz Ensemble III (MUS 391) TH 5:25-6:40 PM (Freeman)

Auditions will be held on Tuesday, January 20, in the Green Music Center - room 1029 - 1:00-7:00 PM

Please email Doug Leibinger with your availability during that time, and he will assign you a 10-minute slot.
One audition can place you in any of the jazz ensembles. We will ask for your availability and preference on the day of the audition.

All jazz majors MUST audition for a jazz ensemble.

Other music concentrations and non-music majors are welcome and encouraged to audition.

Bring a play-along CD with a tune of your choice to improvise on (optional for jazz orchestra). We will also sight-read.
Instrumentalists, print out your audition etude here (there is one page specific to your instrument):

The etude this semester follows a chorus of Blues in C - you can use Jamey Aebersold Vol. 42 to practice it. Make sure you bring a copy of the etude to the audition.

Drummers, in addition to the audition etude, be ready to play various styles - i.e. swing, bossa, samba, afro, salsa, jazz waltz, etc.

Vocalists - please bring two contrasting tunes to sing on play-along CD if possible (you may also use an accompanist) - scatting a plus!

Jazz Core Classes

Jazz Performance Majors complete a thorough battery of core classes to complete their degree:

Four levels concentrating on voice-leading, chord-scale applications and advanced rhythmic techniques for improvising on standards, modal and free-form jazz compositions.
Techniques for small-group and large ensemble arranging.
Writing in a wide variety of styles.
Jazz Piano:
Techniques for solo and ensemble piano performance – required of all majors.
Jazz History:
Study of jazz from its origins to the present, and its relationship to social and cultural movements.