Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music College of Communication and Fine Arts Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music
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Jazz Ensembles

Jazz and Studio Music Ensembles have a long and successful history at the University of Memphis. Both music majors and non-majors at the University are strongly encouraged to participate in the performing groups, as well as classes and applied lessons offered in the Jazz and Studio Music curriculum.

Having contact with guest artists and music professionals is an important part of the Jazz and Studio Music program. Recent visiting guest artists have included Bob Berg, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Joe Locke, Marvin Stamm, Randy Brecker, and Elaine Elias.

Southern Comfort Jazz Orchestra

The "Southern Comfort" Jazz Orchestra has a long reputation of musical excellence at the University of Memphis. The group is comprised of seventeen outstanding full-time university student musicians ranging from undergraduates through doctoral candidates. The ensemble performs a wide range of styles from composers Fletcher Henderson and Duke Ellington to modern composers such as Jim McNeely and Bob Brookmeyer.The group continually performs and records new student compositions, commissions, and new works from outside composers on an annual basis.

Recent performances include a tour of Europe in June of 1996, and presentations at the International Association of Jazz Educators Conference in January, 2000 and the Tennessee Music Educators Association convention in April, 2000 and April, 2006. Most recently the group was honored to be a part of the National Endowment of the Humanities “Looking at Jazz" Series held in the Mid-South during 2007.

They have recorded two CDs, “Voices” in 2007 and “Out of the Bluffs” in 2009 for Select-O-Hits, Memphis.

Jazz Ensemble II

Jazz Ensemble II is a 17 piece jazz ensemble that performs concerts at the University of Memphis and rehearses twice a week. Participants receive one hour of undergraduate credit. The group works on sight reading and skills necessary to play in the jazz ensemble genre. Rehearsals are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Auditions are held every fall semester. For more information contact Dr. Jack Cooper, conductor by email or at 901-678-2547.

Jazz Singers I and II

The University of Memphis Jazz Singers is comprised of ten to fifteen male and female vocal students. This group performs a wide range of music from traditional arrangements of jazz standards to more contemporary fusion jazz. Auditions are held at the beginning of each semester. For more information contact Mr. Tim Goodwin, conductor, by email or at 901-678-3069.

Jazz Combos

The Jazz Combo program is essential in the jazz curriculum because of the concentration on the art of jazz improvisation. Due to the size and popularity of combos, the program fields anywhere from 8 – 12 combos in a semester. All instrumentalists and vocalists are invited to enroll in the groups. Each combo has one class session of an hour a week and spends extra time on their own to prepare material for performances. The class times are TBA depending on the availability of combo members. For more information, please contact Mr. Tim Goodwin, conductor, by email or at 901-678-3069.

Rudi E. Scheidt
School of Music
The University of Memphis
Music Building, Room 123
3775 Central Ave.
Memphis, TN 38152-3160



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Last Updated: 11/6/12