How to Select Better Music for Your Jazz Band

By Kelli Swehla Memes tend to do a good job of summing up something in a funny way. I offer you exhibit A: If you’re like me, you laughed at this. Then you realized something: we all do this or have done it. If you’re a little bit older (also like me), these years areContinue reading How to Select Better Music for Your Jazz Band

Let’s Dance! –  Accepting the Latin jazz invitation with Engagement and Discovery 

By James Dreier and Dr. Steve Shanley Atychiphobia: Fear of making mistakes, Atychimusicaphobia: Fear of making mistakes playing (or directing) Latin jazz OK, the second one was made up. But according to carefully done and totally anecdotal research, this is a real thing. The fear of rehearsing a Latin jazz chart with your jazz bandContinue reading Let’s Dance! –  Accepting the Latin jazz invitation with Engagement and Discovery 

What Judges Really Want to Hear at Jazz Festivals/Competitions

By Mike Conrad, University of Northern Iowa Although I have only been adjudicating at jazz festivals in Iowa for the past six or seven years at this point, I have noticed that there often seems to be a disconnect between what directors think judges want to hear and what they actually want to hear. IContinue reading What Judges Really Want to Hear at Jazz Festivals/Competitions

Meet the 2022 All State Jazz Directors…

1A/2A-Rick Stone Rick Stone holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Northern Iowa (Cedar Falls, IA) and a Master’s in Jazz Performance from the New England Conservatory of Music (Boston, MA). He has studied with Robert Washut and Chris Merz (UNI), Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Bob Brookmeyer, Marty Ehrlich, and SteveContinue reading “Meet the 2022 All State Jazz Directors…”

Collaborative Commissions – You Can Do It!

Dean Sorenson and Nolan Hauta Dean Sorenson and Nolan Hauta completed a collaborative commission experience in the spring of 2021. The piece “Farther Down the Bank” was composed over the course of a semester and was premiered by the University of Dubuque Jazz Ensemble on April 14, 2021. This article will share elements of thatContinue reading Collaborative Commissions – You Can Do It!

A Note on Preparing Students for the Collegiate Level

In my capacity as a jazz professor at UNI, I meet or email with prospective students on a more or less weekly basis throughout the school year. One question that arises again and again is some variation of “How can I best prepare myself for success in jazz in college?” Most of the first-year collegeContinue reading “A Note on Preparing Students for the Collegiate Level”

Warm Ups From A Small School Setting

As I’m sure it is with all young band directors, we go into teaching with a quiet confidence that we’ve got this.  But also admitting to ourselves that we have a lot to learn along the way.  We try to balance the unknown with the known and keep pushing forward hoping that no one willContinue reading “Warm Ups From A Small School Setting”

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