Jazz Studies & Certificate Program

Jazz Ensemble performance in Germany.According to the Harvard Concise Dictionary of Music (Randel, 1978) jazz is a "kind of music that emerged in the southern United States, particularly in the city of New Orleans, around the end of the 19th century. The term itself . . . gained currency around 1915 and has since been applied to diverse and continually changing styles. Throughout the history of jazz, its tonal language has been essentially that of Western Europe combined with characteristic inflections of pitch. Other characteristics are study though often syncopated rhythm . . . improvisation . . . and effects of intonation and timbre different from those employed in the traditional Western concert music."  

Jazz, the first truly American art form, is a very important part of our cultural heritage and has the potential of playing a significant role in the music education process. With this in mind, the School of Music at Appalachian has established the Jazz Certification Program. Admission to this program is available to all students of the University upon the recommendation of the Director of Jazz Studies.

Jazz Certificate Program

Jazz students and faculty on the steps of Louis Armstrong's house in Queens, NYThe Hayes School of Music has established a Jazz Certification Program that is available to all students of the University upon the recommendation of the Director of Jazz Studies. The purposes of the program are to identify students with a special interest in jazz, promote high standards of jazz performance, provide a structured sequence in the field of jazz, provide a vehicle for the proper advising with this interest, and to expand the circle of students who have meaningful experiences with jazz during their college careers.

The student must complete an application form (available from the Director of Jazz Studies). The completed form must be returned to the Office of the Dean of Music. Upon completion of the program, the student will receive a Jazz Certificate indicating competence in this area of study. Jazz Certificates will be awarded during the annual Honors Seminar.

Jazz Certificate Requirements

A total of 14 semester hours are required to complete a certificate in jazz, including the following:

  • MUS 1104 Jazz Ensemble 4 semesters
  • MUS 2014 Jazz in American Society 3 s.h.
  • MUS 2045 Jazz Improvisation I 2 s.h.
  • MUS 3003 Jazz/Pop Theory 2 s.h.
  • MUS 3045 Jazz Improvisation II 2 s.h.
  • MUS 3530 Jazz Piano 1 s.h.
  • Completion of Level 4 in the Applied Area

For more information on our programs, please consult the Hayes School of Music Student Handbook.

Jazz Visiting Artist Workshops

For almost 60 years visiting artists have worked with the Appalachian Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Faculty, and Jazz Clinics Programs. This program has been an inspiration to our students and the ASU Community.

Visiting artist Bernard Purdie and Cyrus Chestnut at our Robert F. Gilley Recording Studio.

Visiting artist Bernard Purdie and Cyrus Chestnut at our Robert F. Gilley Recording Studio.

For a complete listing of our past visiting artists, please refer to this attached PDF (227 KB).

Director of Jazz Studies

Professor Todd Wright 

wrighttt@appstate.edu

Office Location: Room 418, Broyhill Music Center
828-262-4964
Saxophone, Jazz Area Coordinator, Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Combos

Jazz Events

Contact Professor Todd Wright for more information.

Past Events:

Performing Tour of Italy - May 11th - May 21st, 2015

2015 Itinerary (PDF, 167 KB)

Appalachian Jazz Ensemble I

Runferyerlife (Bob Mintzer)

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Granada Smoothie (Mark Taylor) 

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