Jazz/Commercial Ensembles | Towson University

The Jazz/Commercial program at Towson University is fortunate to have as its founder
the renowned Hank Levy. Levy, best known as a composer and arranger for the big bands
of Don Ellis and Stan Kenton, attracted students from around the country and earned
the jazz program national stature. Today, the program enjoys the benefits of Levy’s hard
work, including access to his entire library of compositions and arrangements. The USM Board of Regents named Hank Levy “Professor Emeritus” posthumously in Fall
2016.  The Department of Music is proud that the tradition of excellence he started,
continues to this day.

The Jazz/Commercial program offers a variety of small and large ensembles.

Towson University Jazz Orchestra

MUSA 281/481/682 Jazz Orchestra

The Jazz Orchestra offers the study and performance of large ensemble jazz and related
styles of music. The instrumentation of the Jazz Orchestra (TUJO) varies according
to the requirements of the music to be studied/performed/composed. Membership is by
audition and participation is open to all Towson University Students.

The Towson University Jazz Orchestra is an award-winning group that is recognized
as one of the premiere collegiate jazz ensembles in the Mid-Atlantic region. The ensemble
performs regularly scheduled concerts on campus and enjoys an active and diversified
performance schedule that includes mini-tours to local schools, jazz festivals throughout
the area, and performances for a variety of civic and community events. In addition
to playing the music of Hank Levy, the Jazz Orchestra performs all styles of big band
jazz by some of the most talented composers/arrangers in the country. Representing
the finest in jazz as a diverse means of artistic expression, the Towson University
Jazz Orchestra continues to impress and inspire its ever-growing audience.

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For more information about the Towson University Jazz Orchestra contact director Jim
McFalls, mjim AT_TOWSON or 410-704-2680.

Jazz Guitar Ensemble

MUSA 283/483/683 Jazz Guitar ensembles

The Jazz guitar ensembles focus on sight reading and learning the basics of ensemble
playing. Primarily these ensembles perform arrangements for 4-5 guitars of jazz standards.
Membership is by audition and participation is open to all Towson University Students.

Jazz Combos

MUSA 282/482/682 Jazz Combos

The Jazz combos offer the study and performance of literature for small jazz ensemble.
Students work together with their ensemble coach to develop a group sound expressed
through arrangements specific their instrumentation. Improvisation and memorization
are important components each semester. All combos perform publically at least once
a semester. Membership is by audition and participation is open to all Towson University
Students.

 

Vocal Jazz Choir

MUSA 284/484/684 Vocal Jazz Choir

The primary objective of the Vocal Jazz Ensemble is to give experienced singers exposure
to this unique and challenging genre of vocal music. Students broaden their understanding
of the vocal jazz tradition by critically analyzing and performing pieces made popular
by such groups as the Hi-Lo’s, Singers Unlimited, the Real Group, and New York Voices.
This ensemble performs publically at least once each semester. Membership is by audition
and participation is open to all Towson University Students.

READ:  Information for TU Students | Towson University

Latin Ensemble

MUSA 285/485/685 Latin Ensemble

The Latin ensemble meets in the fall semester only. This ensemble explores the various
rhythms and styles found in Latin jazz. The ensemble performs at least one public
performance each fall semester. Membership is by audition and participation is open
to all Towson University Students.

Popular Music Ensemble

MUSA 286/486/686 Pop Ensemble

The Popular Music Ensemble meets in the spring semester only. This ensemble explores
the lexicon of popular music ranging from the Motown era to the present, with a concentration
on vocal repertoire. Students transcribe, arrange, and rehearse songs for concert
performance. The ensemble performs at least one public performance each spring semester.
Membership is by audition and participation is open to all Towson University Students.

Improvisation Ensemble

MUSA 276/476/676 Free Improvisation Ensemble

The Free Improvisation ensemble offers the study and exploration of multifaceted improvisational
practice. This ensemble explores the possibilities of group improvisation through
exercises and performances. Students develop the ability to make musical decisions,
take risks and develop flexibility for unexpected situations. This ensemble performs
publically at least once each semester. Membership is by audition and participation
is open to all Towson University Students.

View more information: https://www.towson.edu/cofac/departments/music/ensembles/jazz.html

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