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

Video

Jazz Studies at UMass Amherst Department of Music and Dance

View Transcript

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]

Jazz Studies at UMass Amherst

Uploaded Jul 22, 2020

Uploaded Jul 22, 2020

UMass Amherst students talk about their experiences in the Jazz & African-American Music Studies program. Topics highlight the quality of the faculty, diversity of ensembles, and abundance of opportunity to learn and perform.