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Department of Music

Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble is one of Christopher Newport University’s most visible and challenging performance courses. The ensemble performs all styles of jazz music from Duke Ellington, through Count Basie and Charles Mingus, to the contemporary jazz ensemble composers of today. With regular rehearsals and frequent concerts, including collaborative performances, Family Day Weekend, the annual Swing Dance and our Jazz 4 Justice concert, students are encouraged to develop the stylistic skills necessary to perform a wide variety of repertoire, and to engage in the creative process through collaboration and improvisation.

Rehearsal Schedule
The CNU Jazz Ensemble rehearses every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. - 1:50 p.m. in the Ferguson Center for the Arts building, room A100. Within the jazz program, every time you play your instrument in rehearsal, you are handing in your “homework” for the day. Each Jazz Ensemble section (Saxophones, Trumpets, Trombones and Rhythm) will have one weekly outside sectional, scheduled by the section leader, at a convenient time for all members of the section. Sectionals will rehearse music as chosen by the section leader, or by the ensemble director as needed. Additionally, each individual musician is expected to practice the assigned material outside of class, for a minimum of one hour / per one hour of ensemble rehearsal.


Membership in the CNU Jazz Ensemble is determined by audition. Although this is the top jazz performance ensemble at the university; all interested students, both music majors and non-majors, are encouraged to audition. The auditions are highly competitive, as only a limited number of musicians on specific instruments may enroll in the course.

August 28
Beginning at 1 p.m. (until approximately 5 p.m.)
Band Rehearsal Hall, Room A100 (until 3 p.m. then location TBD)

Auditions will consist of a prepared jazz piece of the student’s choosing, sight-reading, and optional improvisation.

Each audition will be about 5 minutes long, so please sign up for an audition time to ensure your slot; the sign up sheets are located outside of the Jazz Director’s office, room A147. If you are auditioning for Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, please indicate that on the accompanying student information form.  These student information forms will be available at the auditions.

You must audition and be accepted into the ensemble to participate in the Jazz Ensemble at Christopher Newport University.

Registration issues will be adjusted within August 17 - 26  Add / Drop period.

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