The University of Massachusetts Amherst
HFA - College of Humanities & Fine Arts view HFA submenu
Section Menu

Jazz & African American Music Studies

Click to watch the Jazz & African American Music Studies video

Join one of our Jazz Ensembles!   Listen to Studio Orchestra

Director of Jazz & African American Music Studies Program; Conductor, Composition; Professor
252 Fine Arts Center; (413) 545-6046   Bio

Jazz Overview:

You may study Jazz as either an undergraduate or graduate music major, leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Music or Master of Music degrees.  The undergraduate programs are broad, encompassing jazz performance, theory, history, composition/arranging, ensemble playing/singing and improvisation.  The Master of Music programs are in Jazz Performance and Composition/Arranging. Graduate Performance majors as well as undergraduate Jazz students play in jazz ensembles; Comp/Arr graduate students are also encouraged to play in, as well as write for, large and small ensembles.  Further details are in the Jazz Degree Programs section.

Placement auditions for Jazz Ensembles take place every fall during the first week of classes.  Jazz majors are placed in one or more of: Jazz Ensemble I, Chapel Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Lab Ensemble, Vocal Jazz Ensemble and possibly small combos.  See the Jazz Ensembles webpage for audition details and excerpts.

Please click on the links on the jazz menu for details and news about the Jazz Program.

Listen to this beautiful live performance of Oliver Nelson's "There's A Yearnin'" by the UMass Studio Orchestra conducted by Jeff Holmes (arr. Dan Williams G '01).

UMass Amherst Music & Dance · There's A Yearnin' - UMass Studio Orchestra


UMass Studio Orchestra performs Irving Berlin's "Let's Face the Music and Dance"

UMass Amherst Music & Dance · Let's Face the Music and Dance by Irving Berlin, UMass Studio Orchestra