Jazz Studies at UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance
0:00 - [MUSIC PLAYING]
0:10 - We try to address all different types of developments in jazz
0:14 - and popular music that fall under our umbrella of jazz
0:19 - and African-American music studies.
0:21 - But they actually go beyond that,
0:22 - because the real world is about being able to take
0:26 - what you learn and apply that.
0:30 - Even though UMass is a bigger school,
0:32 - the music department is nice because it is actually
0:35 - a little bit of a smaller department.
0:37 - Friendly is a word that I would use to describe the music
0:41 - department.
0:44 - I love studying jazz here.
0:45 - The classes themselves that I'm taking are super interesting.
0:50 - I'm playing a ton.
0:51 - Just a great learning environment to be in.
0:56 - There are a lot of excellent resources here:
1:00 - Professors, fellow students.
1:03 - Sitting down with somebody who's been doing it for a long time
1:05 - and has a lot of experience, and can give you guidance
1:08 - and make you think in ways that you hadn't before.
1:13 - I feel really supported by the professors here.
1:17 - I feel like I can always ask a question if I want to,
1:21 - and I feel like I'm getting my butt kicked, which is nice.
1:24 - Because I don't want to be comfortable.
1:25 - (SINGING) Come away with me and I.
1:29 - The program is steeped in great history
1:32 - with the likes of Dr. Tillis and Horace
1:35 - Boyer, Max Roach, and Billy Taylor, and Yusef Lateef.
1:40 - I think the coolest thing is that Max Roach taught here,
1:43 - and I didn't know that.
1:45 - My colleagues here in the Department of Music and Dance,
1:49 - they're all very dedicated to getting the best out
1:52 - of their students.
1:53 - And I have no qualms about recommending our students
1:57 - participating in those other ensembles,
1:58 - because that is going to further their vocabulary.
2:07 - I was looking for an opportunity to be
2:09 - able to participate in both classical and jazz ensembles.
2:12 - Part of the reason I came here was because that opportunity
2:14 - was readily available.
2:16 - It's fun.
2:16 - I love it.
2:17 - Each ensemble is super different,
2:19 - because I'm constantly being pushed out of my comfort zone.
2:23 - Coming in to the jazz program specifically,
2:26 - I feel like I can build and expand my skill set.
2:29 - There are so many cool things you can do.
2:31 - Next semester, I think I'm going to be in a combo, which
2:33 - I'm really excited about.
2:35 - We are very respectful of the history of the music.
2:38 - But we also like to see our students perform pieces
2:41 - that they've composed themselves.
2:43 - To see a student bring in a piece of music
2:45 - for the first time and have everybody
2:48 - get to work on it in a collaborative effort.
2:51 - Having students write original things
2:53 - and having students bring in pieces
2:55 - that they've arranged or composed,
2:57 - that aspect of the department is,
3:00 - I think, something that's really cool
3:02 - and that is very unique about coming here.
3:06 - Keep asking questions.
3:08 - Whether it's, can I get your thoughts on this trombone solo
3:13 - here or these voicings here?
3:14 - Or, I've written this symphony orchestra piece.
3:16 - Can we play it on the concert in April?
3:19 - It's almost always yes, because the teachers,
3:21 - they're here to help you develop as a player and as a writer,
3:24 - as a teacher, whatever you're here to study.
3:27 - You really do find your community.
3:30 - When we're singing, we definitely are communicating.
3:34 - It's really fun.
3:34 - I feel like if you're not having fun, you're not doing it right.
3:40 - I like being somewhere where there's a lot going on.
3:47 - I think it was a really great fit for me.
3:49 - [CHEERING]