Jazz Ensembles

There are five different jazz ensembles and many opportunities to play. The jazz ensembles are open to music majors, music minors, and students that are not registered for music at all.

Moravian College Big Band

The Moravian College Big Band rehearses once a week in Foy Hall. It is a traditional sized big band with five saxophones, five trumpets, four trombones and a full rhythm section. The repertoire consists of standard big band swing (Basie and Ellington) and modern compositions as well (Mintzer and Tamaro).

The Big Band has had the opportunity to play behind such jazz legends as alto saxophonist Bobby Watson (Jazz Messengers/solo artist), trombonist Al Gray (Basie), vocalist Milt Grayson (Ellington) and Clark Terry (Ellington and Tonight Show Orchestras). They have also performed at the Lehigh Valley Intercollegiate Jazz Festival and took third place in the 1998 Villanova Collegiate Jazz Festival.

In addition to their concert and festival scedule, the Big Band also plays for dances on campus.

Jazz Combo I

Jazz Combo I is a small jazz group with 4-7 members depending on the available instrumentation. The focus of the combo is threefold:

  • To give the student the opportunity to stretch out and explore their own improvisational skills.
  • Develop the skills and tools of communication (Aural and visual) that is necessary in a group.
  • To help the student expand their repertoire of jazz tunes.

The combo gives the student the ability to experiment and explore in a small band setting. They meet once a week and rehearse for scheduled concert performances.

Jazz Combo II

Jazz Combo II - as it's companion ensembles Jazz Combo I - is a small jazz group with 4-7 members depending on the available instrumentation. The focus of both of the combos is the same. But the combos offer students a chance to gain perspective from two different directors.

The combo gives students the opportunity to experiment and explore in a small band setting. Students meet once a week and rehearse for scheduled concert performances.

Fusion Ensemble

The Jazz/Rock Fusion Ensemble is a group dedicated to playing the music called fusion - jazz mixed with rock. The group might play tunes by Chick Corea, Al Jarreau, David Sanborn and Cannonball Aderley, just to name a few. The group is made up of 4-8 players depending on instrumentation and current enrollment.

The fusion ensemble meets once a week and plays at concerts every semester.

vocal Jazz Ensemble

The Vocal Jazz Ensemble is a group dedicated to singing and studying the art of creating lyrics and vocal improvisation. Included is the study of microphone use and stage movement. The ensemble rehearses once a week.