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Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble is a standard 17-member big band dedicated to the study and performance of classic jazz and popular music from the 1920s through today. Emphasis is placed on ensemble interaction and individual improvisation.
Jazz Ensemble
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Tom tom drum

Hear the Jazz Ensemble

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Jazz band performing

Performances

Learn About the Performance Opportunities

The ensemble gives several on-campus performances yearly—at Christmas on the Promenade, the Wind Symphony Christmas Concert, the School of Music Pops Concert, and a full concert in the spring. Additionally, the Jazz Ensemble performs at civic functions, wedding receptions, and other social events in the greater Chattanooga area.

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Ken Parsons Conducting

Conductor's Philosophy

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"Along with my deep love of wind concert music, I have a passion for jazz. Even after directing jazz ensembles for 20+ years, the combination of swinging ensemble playing and inspired improvisation still energizes me as almost nothing does. It tends to do that for audiences and players, too!"

-Ken Parsons

More about the conductor »
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Sheet music

Rehearsals

See Rehearsal Times

Mabel Wood Hall 241, Wednesday, 7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
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Mabel Wood Hall exterior Southern Adventist University

Auditions

Learn How to Prepare

Wind and percussion players are selected by the director from the ranks of the Wind Symphony, while piano, bass, and guitar players are chosen by audition. The audition consists of two parts:

Prepare and perform two pieces in contrasting jazz styles, displaying your ability to both comp and play soloistically.
Sight-read several chart excerpts in various jazz styles—swing, ballad, samba, funk, etc.

Results will be discussed at the end of the audition.
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Man playing jazz drumset

Membership

Learn How Membership Works

As the ensemble meets only once weekly, it is a non-credit-bearing ensemble. However, members are still expected to make a yearlong commitment to the ensemble. Punctual, regular attendance and outside preparation are conditions of continued membership.

Recent Repertoire

  • Autumn Leaves - Joseph Kosma
  • Moten Swing - Buster & Benny Moten
  • Big Swing Face - Bill Potts
  • Such Sweet Thunder - Duke Ellington
  • Here Comes the Sun - George Harrison
  • Sweet Georgia Brown - Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard & Kenneth Casey
  • Cute Neal - Hefti
  • Li'l Darlin' - Neal Hefti
  • Things Ain’t What They Used to Be - Mercer Ellington
  • La Fiesta - Chick Corea
  • Emancipation Blues - Oliver Nelson
  • Brazil - S. K. Russell & Ary Barroso
  • I Wish - Stevie Wonder
  • I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Irving Berlin
    • Rachel Elliott, soprano  
  • Angels We have Heard on High - Rich DeRosa
  • Go, Tell It On the Mountain - Roy Philippe
  • Satin Doll - Duke Ellington &
    Billy Strayhorn
  • Always and Forever - Pat Metheny
    • Joshua Gardner, guitar 
  • Brazilian Love Affair - George Duke

  • Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson
  • Silver Bells - Jay Livingston & Ray Evans
    • Alyson Zapara, alto 
  • The Christmas Waltz - Sammy Cahn
  • Yo, Tannenbaum! - Gordon Goodwin
  • Bugle Call Rag - Jack Pettis, Billy Myers &
    Elmer Schoebel
  • Come Rain or Come Shine - Harold Arlen & Johnny Mercer
    • Rebecca Elliott, soprano 
  • Black Hole Sun - Chris Cornell
  • Such Sweet Thunder - Duke Ellington
  • Here Comes the Sun - George Harrison
  • Sweet Georgia Brown - Ben Bernie, Maceo Pinkard & Kenneth Casey
  • Cute - Neal Hefti
  • Li'l Darlin' - Neal Hefti
  • Belly Roll - Quincy Jones
  • Hunting Wabbits - Gordon Goodwin
  • Emancipation Blues - Oliver Nelson
  • Brazil - S. K. Russell & Ary Barroso
  • I Wish - Stevie Wonder
  • La Fiesta - Chick Corea

  • Jingle Bells - John LaBarbera
  • The Christmas Song - Bob Wells & Mel Tormé
  • Good Swing Wenceslas - Sammy Nestico
  • Joy to the World - Rich DeRosa
  • That's A Plenty - Lew Pollack
  • Pennsylvania 6-5000 - Carl Sigman &
    Jerry Gray
  • "Somewhere" from West Side Story - Leonard Bernstein
    • Savannah Brown, soprano 
  • Eleanor Rigby - John Lennon & Paul McCartney
  • Whiplash - Hank Levy

  • Alexander's Ragtime Band - Irving Berlin
  • Back Home Again In Indiana - James F. Hanley
  • Bugle Call Rag - Jack Pettis, Billy Myers & Elmer Schoebel
  • I Ain't Got Nobody - Spencer Williams
  • Royal Garden Blues - Clarence & Spencer Williams
  • Tiger Rag - Nick La Rocca
  • Linus and Lucy - Vince Guaraldi
  • Still, Still, Still - Paul Clark
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Hugh Martin &
    Ralph Blane
    • Erin Brandon, tenor    
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Johnny Marks
  • Salt Peanuts - Dizzy Gillespie
  • Doodlin' - Horace Silver
  • Blue Monk - Thelonius Monk
  • Well, You Needn't - Thelonius Monk
  • Malagueña - Ernesto Lecuona / Bill Holman
  • Lester Leaps In - Lester Young
  • In a Mellow Tone - Duke Ellington
  • Bye Bye Blackbird - Ray Henderson
  • Stormy Weather - Harold Arlen &
    Ted Koehler
    • Savannah Brown, soprano    
  • Spain - Joaquin Rodrigo & Chick Corea
  • Parisian Thoroughfare - Bud Powell
  • Living for the City - Stevie Wonder
  • Count Bubba - Gordon Goodwin
  • When the Saints Go Marching In - Dean Sorenson

  • One O’Clock Jump - Count Basie
  • Take the "A" Train - Billy Strayhorn
  • 'Round Midnight - Cootie Williams & Thelonius Monk
  • Stardust - Hoagy Carmichael
    • Nathan Warner, trumpet    
  • Bluesette - Toots Thielmans
  • Manteca - Dizzy Gillespie
  • What's New? - Bob Haggart
    • Anthony Burrell, alto saxophone    
  • Horn of Puente - Gordon Goodwin
  • Oye Como Va - Tito Puente
  • One Note Samba - Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • Sing, Sing, Sing - Louis Prima
  • Ever Braver Ever Stronger - Gordon Goodwin
  • Hot Chocolate - Alan Silvestri
  • I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day - Johnny Marks, arranged by Gordon Goodwin
  • Home for the Holidays - Al Stallman & Robert Allen 
    • Emily Mulder & Erin Brandon, voice   
  • Adeste Fidelis - Rich DeRosa
  • Let it Snow! Let Snow! Let It Snow! - Alan Baylock
  • Ol' Man River - Jerome Kern
  • You Make Me Feel So Young - Josef Myron & Mack Gordon
  • Summer Wind - Heinz Meier & Johnny Mercer
    • Krystal Morris, soprano   
  • That's Life - Dean Kay & Kelly Gordon
  • Fly Me to the Moon - Bart Howard
  • New York, New York - John Kander & Fred Ebb
    • Erin Brandon, tenor   
  • Let the Good Times Roll - Sam Theard & Fleecie Moore
  • Struttin' With Some Barbecue - Lillian Hardin Armstrong & Don Raye
  • Things Ain't What They Used to Be - Mercer Ellington
  • Work Song - Nat Adderley
  • Count Me In - Billy Byers
  • Baby Elephant Walk - Henry Mancini
  • Dizzy Atmosphere - Dizzy Gillespie
  • The Goodbye Look - Donald Fagen
  • Birdland - Josef Zawinul
  • Cotton Tail - Duke Ellington
  • Jump, Jive and Wail - Louis Prima

  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love - Freddie Mercury
  • At Last - Mack Gordon and Harry Warren
    • Megan Mocca, soprano   
  • Isn't She Lovely - Stevie Wonder
  • We Can Work It Out - John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Chris Sharp
  • Carol of the Bells - Rich DeRosa
  • Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming - Michael Praetorius
    arranged by Bob Curnow
  • The Little Drummer Boy - Katherine Davis
    arranged by Joe Jackson
  • One O’Clock Jump - Count Basie
  • Take the “A” Train - Billy Strayhorn
  • What’s New? - Bob Haggart
    • Anthony Burrell, alto saxophone
  • Softly, as in a Morning Sunrise - Sigmund Romberg
    • Felipe Paccagnella, piano   
  • Bluesette - Toots Thielemans
  • Manteca - Dizzy Gillespie
  • One Note Samba - Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • Floating Home - Gordon Goodwin
  • Pick Up the Pieces - Alan Gorrie

  • Deck the Halls - Ted Blumenthal
  • I’ll Be Home for Christmas - Walter Kent
  • Jingle Bells - James Pierpont, arranged by John Clayton
    • Krystal Morris, soprano   
  • Go, Tell It on the Mountain - Roy Philippe
  • I Can’t Stop Loving You - Don Gibson
  • I Left My Heart in San Francisco - George Cory and Douglas Cross
  • Come Fly With Me - Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn
    • Erin Brandon, tenor  
  • Won’t You Be My Neighbor? - Fred Rogers
  • Make Me Smile - James Pankow
  • Tickletoe - Lester Young
  • It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) - Duke Ellington
  • Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans? - Louis Alter
  • Taking a Chance on Love - Vernon Duke
    • Bobby Jepson, tenor
  • Stumbling - Zez Confrey
  • You Are the Sunshine of My Life - Stevie Wonder
    • Yeshara Acosta, alto   
  • Blue Train - John Coltrane
  • Chameleon - Herbie Hancock
  • High Maintenance - Gordon Goodwin

  • White Christmas - Irving Berlin
  • Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow! - Gordon Goodwin
  • Everybody's Waitin' for the Man with the Bag - Harold Stanley, Irving Taylor, Dudley Brooks
    • Krystal Morris, soprano     
  • The Nutcracker Suite - Peter Tchaikovsky arr. by Frank Comstock
  • Bugle Call Rag - Jack Pettis, Billy Myers, Elmer Schoebel
  • Chattanooga Choo Choo - Mack Gordon and
    Harry Warren
    • Yeshara Acosta, Erin Brandon, Jordan McKee, Keren Pagan, Josh Martin, vocals     
  • The Girl from Ipanema - Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • Punta del Soul - Dave Grusin
  • Blue Rondo à la Turk - Dave Brubeck
  • Satin Doll - Duke Ellington
  • Bye Bye Blackbird - Ray Henderson
  • St. James Infirmary - Joe Primrose
  • Polkadots and Moonbeams - Johnny Burke and
    Jimmy Van Heusen
    • Josh Martin, tenor     
  • Afro Blue - Mongo Santamaria
  • Bistro Latino - Jeff Jarvis
  • Always and Forever - Pat Metheny
    • Adam Dunka, guitar   
  • The Chicken - Alfred James Ellis
  • Boogie Stop Shuffle - - Charles Mingus

  • Sleigh Ride - Leroy Anderson
  • You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch - Albert Hague
  • Christmas Time is Here - Vince Guaraldi
  • Hot Chocolate - Alan Silvestri
  • I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Irving Berlin
    • Jordan McKee, soprano
  • Yo! Tannenbaum - Gordon Goodwin
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - Josef Zawinul
  • Ain't She Sweet - Milton Ager
  • Four Brothers - Jimmy Giuffre
  • Mood Indigo - Duke Ellington, Irving Mills,
    Barney Bigard
    • Jordan McKee, soprano
  • Corcovado (Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars) - Antonio Carlos Jobim
  • La Fiesta - Chick Corea
  • After You've Gone - Turner Layton
  • Josie - Walter Becker and
    Donald Fagen
  • Better Get Hit in Your Soul - Charles Mingus
  • Peter Gunn - Henry Mancini
  • Rockit - Herbie Hancock
  • East of the Sun (and West of the Moon) - Brooks Bowman
  • Fly Me to the Moon - Bart Howard
    • Steven Blondo, tenor   
  • Stardust - Hoagy Carmichael
    • Michael Pichette, trumpet   
  • Pennsylvania 6-5000 - Carl Sigman and Jerry Gray
  • Concerto for Clarinet - Artie Shaw
    • Tim Mercer, clarinet   
  • Lassus Trombone - Henry Fillmore
  • They Can't Take That Away From Me - George and Ira Gershwin
    • Josh Martin, tenor   
  • Alright, Okay, You Win - Sid Wyche and Mayme Watts
    • Josh Martin, tenor  
  • Just Friends - John Klenner
  • Afro Blue - Mongo Santamaria
  • The Jazz Police - Gordon Goodwin

  • Home for the Holidays - Robert Allen
  • The Look of Love - Burt Bacharach and Hal David
  • Deck the Halls - Ted Blumenthal
  • Freddie Freeloader - Miles Davis
  • Ol‘ Man River - Jerome Kern
  • Blackbird - John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve? - Frank Loesser
  • Peter Gunn - Henry Mancini
  • Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Johnny Marks
  • Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered - Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart
  • Bye Bye, Love - Felice and  Boudleaux Bryant
  • Better Get Hit in Your Soul - Charles Mingus
  • La Fiesta - Chick Corea
  • Mercy, Mercy, Mercy - Cannonball Adderley

  • Peg - Walter Becker and Donald Fagen
  • Still, Still, Still - Paul Clark
  • Straighten Up and Fly Right - Nat King Cole
  • The Litlle Drummer Boy - Katherine Davis
  • Cotton Tail - Duke Ellington
  • Night Train - Jimmy Forrest
  • Shiny Stockings - Frank Foster
  • Floating Home - Gordon Goodwin
  • Cry Me a River - Arthur Hamilton
  • Autumn Leaves - Joseph Kosma
  • Baby, It’s Cold Outside - Frank Loesser
  • Bellavia - Chuck Mangione
  • Haitian Fight Song - Charles Mingus
  • Go Tell It On the Mountain - Roy Phillippe
  • Night and Day - Cole Porter
  • The Christmas Waltz - Jule Styne
  • When the Saints Go Marchin’ In - Dean Sorenson
  • Superstition - Stevie Wonder
  • Tickletoe - Lester Young

  • Alexander's Ragtime Band - Irving Berlin
  • Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree - Lew Brown
  • Jingle Bells - John Clayton
  • Santa Claus is Coming to Town - J. Fred Coots
  • So What - Miles Davis
  • Blue Bossa - Kenny Dorham
  • In a Mellow Tone - Duke Ellington
  • It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) - Duke Ellington
  • Leap Frog - Joe Garland
  • Salt Peanuts - Dizzy Gillespie
  • Pick Up the Pieces - Alan Gorrie
  • Maiden Voyage - Herbie Hancock
  • On Green Dolphin Street - Bronislau Kaper
  • Jelly Roll - Charles Mingus
  • Emancipation Blues - Oliver Nelson
  • Jump, Jive, and Wail - Louis Prima
  • Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - Don Rae
  • The Christmas Song - Mel Tormé
  • When I Fall in Love - Victor Young

  • I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm - Irving Berlin
  • In the Mood - Joe Garland
  • I Got Plenty of Nuttin’ - George Gershwin
  • The Man I Love - George Gershwin
  • Count Bubba - Gordon Goodwin
  • Yo, Tannenbaum! - Gordon Goodwin
  • Splanky - Neal Hefti
  • Woodchopper’s Ball - Woody Herman
  • A Child Is Born - Thad Jones
  • The Way You Look Tonight - Jerome Kern
  • Jingle Bells - John LaBarbera
  • After You’ve Gone - Turner Layton
  • Round Midnight - Thelonius Monk
  • Libertango - Astor Piazzolla
  • Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise - Sigmund Romberg
  • I Wish - Stevie Wonder