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  • Jazz Ensembles

    Jazz thrives at Utah State, with hundreds of students participating every year in jazz activities of one kind or another, and a faculty of world-class jazz musicians who actively perform and are committed to educational excellence as well. Please visit the Jazz Area page for additional information about Jazz at USU.

     

    In June of 2014, Downbeat Magazine honored the USU Jazz Orchestra with its Outstanding Performance by a Large Jazz Ensemble award in the annual Student Music Awards issue. 

    USU Jazz Orchestra

     

    USU JAZZ ORCHESTRA

     

    MUSC 3770 - 1 cr. - Fall & Spring Semesters

    Director: Dr. Jon Gudmundson, Director of Jazz Studies

    Open to: All university students

    Audition info: Auditions for the entire year are held the first week of school in the fall, but it is possible to challenge current members for seats in the band between semesters. The audition is based on ability to sightread big band music, and those interested in soloing will be asked to improvise.

    Overview: Downbeat Award-winning ensemble USU Jazz Orchestra is the premier jazz ensemble at Utah State University. It is made up of five saxophones (alto, tenor, and baritone), five trumpets, four trombones, piano, guitar, bass, and drums, and perform selections from classic and contemporary jazz, rock and pop music. The Jazz Orchestra performs in concert four times a year at USU, in venues such as the Caine Performance Hall, Morgan Theatre and Kent Concert Hall, and also puts on an annual three-night swing dance event called Jazz Night at the Sky Club, in addition to occasional performances at festivals and high schools. This ensemble has recorded two CDs in recent years, including the critically acclaimed Europa, hailed as “one of the most exciting jazz albums I’ve heard in years” (Dan Cohen), and “recorded live with pizazz and gutsy bravado” (Dan McClenaghan, All About Jazz). The Jazz Orchestra rehearses Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 12:30 – 1:20 PM.

     

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    USU Jazz Ensemble

     

    USU JAZZ ENSEMBLE

     

    MUSC 3760 - 1 cr. - Fall & Spring Semesters

    Director: Dr. Greg Wheeler

    Open to: All university students

    Audition info: Auditions for the entire year are held the first week of school in the fall, but it is possible to challenge current members for seats in the band between semesters. The audition is based on ability to sightread big band music, and those interested in soloing will be asked to improvise.

    Overview: The USU Jazz Ensemble meets three times a week at 2:00. It is made up of five saxophones (alto, tenor, and baritone), four trumpets, four trombones, piano, guitar, bass, and drums, and performs a variety of big band and contemporary jazz music. Jazz Ensemble plays four times a year at USU, in addition to occasional performances at festivals and high schools.

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    saxophone player

     

    JAZZ COMBOS

     

    MUSC 4710 - 1-2 cr. - Fall & Spring Semesters

    Faculty Coordinator: Dr. Jon Gudmundson

    Open to: All university students

    Audition info: Contact Dr. Gudmundson

    Overview: Study and performance of the finest literature for the small jazz ensemble.

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    See also BandsOrchestral Ensembles, and AMP.