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Jazz

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UCF Jazz has a mix of large and small ensemble opportunities, from the chart-topping Flying Horse Big Band to our intimate jazz chamber groups, led by some of the top jazz instructors in the country.

UCF hosts the UCF-Orlando Jazz Festival each spring where students and world-renowned jazz performers — from 88-year-old Benny Golson to 22-year-old Veronica Swift — bring the community together for two days of incredible performances.

“Jazz festivals are an important part of keeping the music going, they have been for decades, Having one here gets the opportunity to have famous, world-class players come that normally would not be here” -Richard Drexler, instructor at UCF and bass player for The Jazz Professors.

UCF is also home to its own record label, Flying Horse Records. It has release recordings from many of our ensembles and faculty members, many of which have climbed to the top of national charts. Having a professional record label at UCF gives students a unique opportunity to experience recording in a professional environment under the mentorship of UCF faculty.

Audition sign-ups will be accepted on Professor Jeff Rupert’s office door (PAC-M 117) during the week prior to auditions.

The Flying Horse Big Band is a premiere ensemble at UCF. The band has appeared at the Montreux, Switzerland and the North Sea Jazz Festivals, as well as numerous festival and concert appearances domestically. The band has featured guests such as Randy Brecker, Bob Berg, Michael Mossman, James Moody, Nick Brignola, Harry Allen, Steve Turre, Rodney Holmes, Terry Gibbs, Marvin Stamm, Mulgrew Miller, John Swana, Kevin Mahogany, Lou Donaldson and Eric Alexander.

The group has had five recordings on the national jazz charts and counting including their 2019 album Good News! The Flying Horse Big Band recordings can be found at flyinghorserecords.com.

Former members of the band include musicians now performing on television shows in Los Angeles, New York and Nashville, while several others are professors at universities around the country.

The Flying Horse Big Band (Jazz Ensemble I) is a standard instrumentation big band featuring the finest jazz performers at UCF. This ensemble performs more than any other ensemble on campus, incorporating repertory works and new music of the highest caliber.

The ensemble performs locally, regionally, and nationally for conferences, concerts, and festivals. Additionally, this ensemble produces recordings for Flying Horse Records and performs with jazz legends as diverse and relevant as Sam Rivers and Lenny Pickett.

The ensemble is open to all UCF students, regardless of major, by audition at the beginning of each semester. Sign-ups will be accepted on Professor Jeff Rupert's office door (PAC-M 117) the week prior to auditions.

Meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 12:30-2:00 p.m.
Major ensemble for music majors and members receive one hour of academic credit for each semester of successful participation.

All students regardless of major are welcome to audition. Auditions are mandatory for all jazz majors. These auditions are for two big bands and 5-6 chamber groups led by various jazz instructors.

Auditions will include:

  • scale studies
  • sight reading
  • prepared piece you have in contrasting styles (be-bop, Afro-Cuban, modal, Quartal, tertian) (at most two, and this is optional for non-majors)
  • improvisation (not required for all members of big bands- this is for soloists, small groups and rhythm section players)

Jazz Ensemble II is a standard instrumentation big band geared toward training music education majors in the jazz idiom and developing skills in applied jazz performance. The group performs a varied repertoire of standard literature as well as new pieces composed and arranged for big band. The ensemble performs locally and regionally several times per semester.

Admission is open to all UCF students by audition at the beginning of each semester. Jazz Ensemble II meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 2:30-3:20 p.m. Jazz Ensemble II serves as a major ensemble for music majors, and members receive one hour of academic credit for each semester of successful participation. Sign-ups will be accepted on Professor Jeff Rupert's office door (PAC-M 117) the week prior to auditions.

 

All students regardless of major are welcome to audition. Auditions are mandatory for all jazz majors. These auditions are for two big bands and 5-6 chamber groups led by various jazz instructors.

Auditions will include:

  • scale studies
  • sight reading
  • prepared piece you have in contrasting styles (be-bop, Afro-Cuban, modal, Quartal, tertian) (at most two, and this is optional for non-majors)
  • improvisation (not required for all members of big bands- this is for soloists, small groups and rhythm section players)

UCF has two Jazz Workshop groups. These are jazz chamber groups (quartets to sextets) performing at the highest level. Repertoire and improvisation skills are the main focus of these groups and are taught by full-time jazz professors. The Jazz Workshop groups perform and record frequently.

Admission is open to all UCF students by audition at the beginning of each semester. Prerequisites are Jazz Theory I and II. The groups meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00-10:15 a.m. The workshops serve as minor ensembles for music majors, and members receive one hour of academic credit for each semester of successful participation. Sign-ups will be accepted on Professor Jeff Rupert's office door (PAC-M 117) the week prior to auditions.

All students regardless of major are welcome to audition. Auditions are mandatory for all jazz majors. These auditions are for two big bands and 5-6 chamber groups led by various jazz instructors.

Auditions will include:

  • scale studies
  • sight reading
  • prepared piece you have in contrasting styles (be-bop, Afro-Cuban, modal, Quartal, tertian) (at most two, and this is optional for non-majors)
  • improvisation (not required for all members of big bands- this is for soloists, small groups and rhythm section players)

UCF has two Jazz Chamber Groups. These small groups (quartets to sextets) perform music appropriate to the level of musicianship in the group. Repertoire and improvisation skills are the main focus of these groups. The Jazz Chamber groups perform frequently around Central Florida.

Entry into these groups is open to all UCF students, regardless of major, by audition at the beginning of each semester. There are no prerequisites for these ensembles.

The groups meet with jazz professors one hour per week and rehearse on their own for one hour. The Jazz Chamber Groups serve as minor ensembles for music majors, and members receive one hour of academic credit for each semester of successful participation. Sign-ups will be accepted on Professor Jeff Rupert's office door (PAC-M 117) the week prior to auditions.

All students regardless of major are welcome to audition. Auditions are mandatory for all jazz majors. These auditions are for two big bands and 5-6 chamber groups led by various jazz instructors.

Auditions will include:

  • scale studies
  • sight reading
  • prepared piece you have in contrasting styles (be-bop, Afro-Cuban, modal, Quartal, tertian) (at most two, and this is optional for non-majors)
  • improvisation (not required for all members of big bands- this is for soloists, small groups and rhythm section players)