UConn's bachelor of arts degree in music with an emphasis in jazz studies offers a balance of instruction between jazz and traditional styles so as to equip students for successful musical careers in a world that increasingly demands flexibility and versatility.
UConn's rigorous, performance-oriented program encourages students to study the music of past generations while consciously striving to create music which is relevant to today. Course work includes beginning-to-advanced instruction in improvisation, jazz arranging and composition, jazz history, and participation in a variety of ensembles that perform extensively on and off campus.
Jazz groups at UConn have placed first in competitions at the Villanova and Elmhurst jazz competitions, performed at major jazz festivals and educational conferences, and have garnered favorable reviews for their CD, UConn Jazz.
UConn is committed to hiring accomplished faculty members who are identified as major creative forces on the international music scene. Because the program is small and selective, faculty members know students personally and show a genuine interest and concern for their musical development.
Renowned guest jazz artists appear at UConn annually, offering clinics and performing with the UConn Jazz Ensemble, student combos, jazz faculty ensembles, and as performers at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. These artists include trumpeters Michael Phillip Mossman, Marvin Stamm, Tom Harrell, Joe Magnarelli and Randy Brecker, saxophonists Michael Brecker, Ralph Bowen, Tim Ries, Dick Oatts, Jerry Bergonzi and James Moody, trombonists Steve Davis, John Mosca and John Fedchock, pianists Cedar Walton and Herbie Hancock, bassists Dave Santoro, Dwayne Burno and Peter Washington, and drummers Tom Melito, Jim Oblon and Lewis Nash.
Applied Music, listed in the university catalog as MUSI 1222 and MUSI 3222, consists of private study of an instrument or voice with a member of the Department of Music faculty. The student's major determines the number of credits of Applied Music taken each semester. Some undergraduate degrees require the student to progress to upper division performance status. Admission to upper division performance status is achieved by passing a promotional jury, typically taken at the end of the sophomore year.
As with all lessons, the main emphasis is on performing. Lessons will address technical and musical skills in order to improve the student's performance ability and understanding. Musical analysis, history, and other musical skills learned in the course of the student's academic career may be applied during Applied Music, thereby elevating the student's musical awareness.
Students pursuing the BA in Jazz Studies are required to take eight semesters of MUSI 1222 for two credits each. MUSI 3222 is optional. Two semesters of applied lessons in jazz are counted against the eight semesters.