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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
Drum set

Hear the Jazz Ensemble

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Jazz band performing


Learn About 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 »
Sheet music


See Rehearsal Times

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


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.
Man playing jazz drumset


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.

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