Fall 2014 auditions for both the Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo will be held:

Monday, August 25
1 - 3 p.m.
Rehearsal Hall, Room A183

Auditions will consist of a prepared jazz piece of the student’s choosing, sight-reading (for Jazz Ensemble), and optional improvisation (Ensemble and Combo).

Each audition will be about 5 minutes long, so please sign up for an audition time to ensure your slot. If you are auditioning for Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo, please indicate that on the accompanying student information form. The student information forms will be available at the auditions. There will be a sign-up sheet posted outside the Jazz Director’s office (A147).

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

Jazz ensemble rehearsals are MWF from 1 – 1:50 p.m.

Jazz Combo rehearsals are MWF from 2 – 2:50 p.m. and Monday evenings.

Jazz 4 Justice logo

Christopher Newport University’s CNU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Kelly Rossum, in partnership with Newport News Bar Association and the Peninsula Bar Association presents the 2015 Jazz 4 Justice Concert!

Saturday, January 31, 2015 at 7 p.m.
Music and Theater Hall, Ferguson Center for the Arts, Christopher Newport University

Tickets on sale to the public in October
$15 general admission, $10 student tickets
Call Ferguson Center Ticket Office at 757-594-8752 or visit online for ticket information.

“A fantastic evening of American big band music” featuring CNU Jazz Students, Alumni and Faculty, plus a special guest speaker.

The CNU Jazz Ensemble will be performing popular swing numbers of the 1930s all the way through to some of today’s modern jazz works. There will be music by great jazz composers, including “Duke” Ellington, “Count” Basie and Thad Jones, along with pieces made famous by the Glenn Miller Orchestra and other sweet bands of the era. After the concert, there will be a jam session where everyone is invited to sit-in and play, so make sure you bring your horn.

Reception to follow, including live open Jam Session.

This fundraising event supports the Legal Aid Society of Eastern Virginia and the Diversity Conference of the Virginia State Bar, through MDI, Inc, it’s 501(c)(3) foundation, as well as dedicated scholarship and program support for the new CNU Jazz Program. Please contact Allie Kotula at akotula@hovplc.com or call 757-599-0734 if you would like to become an event sponsor.

The CNU Jazz Ensemble is one of the Music Department’s most visible and challenging performance courses. The ensemble performs all styles of jazz music from Duke Ellington, through Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus, to the contemporary artists of today. With semiweekly rehearsals and regular performances, 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. 

Membership in the CNU Jazz Ensemble is determined by audition each semester. All students, both music majors and non-majors, are encouraged to participate.

Kelly Rossum, D.M.A
Kelly Rossum, Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Jazz Studies, teaches undergraduate and graduate jazz pedagogy, jazz arranging, jazz history and literature, jazz improvisation, and directs the Advanced Jazz Combo and the CNU Jazz Ensemble. Rossum also teaches applied trumpet, brass studio class, trumpet studio class and directs the CNU Trumpet Ensemble.

Rossum is an international trumpet artist who has been invited to perform at multiple International Trumpet Guild Conferences, including Bangkok, Thailand and Sydney, Australia, as well as repeat appearances at the Festival of New Trumpet Music in New York City. A champion of new music, he has premiered compositions by Dave Douglas, Stephanie Richards, David Durst, Steven Bryant and numerous other composers. He has performed everything from lead trumpet at New York’s famed Birdland jazz club to natural trumpet in Bad Säckingen, Germany.

As a recording artist, Rossum has released four albums as a leader and has appeared on more than 40 recordings as a sideman. His compositions, incorporating improvisational and contemporary avant-garde techniques, have been performed and recorded by numerous artists and organizations. He has provided original scores for both film and dance and has received support from the American Composers Forum and the Jerome Foundation.

Previous to his appointment at CNU, Rossum served as the jazz director and trumpet professor at Jacksonville State University in Alabama and founded and directed the jazz program at MacPhail Center for Music in Minnesota, one of the nation’s largest community music schools. He earned his bachelor of music degree from the University of Nebraska, his master of music degree from the University of North Texas and his doctor of musical arts from the University of Minnesota.