School of Music
Programs of Study
Programs of Study in Jazz
The Jazz Studies Program at Texas Tech University builds upon the mission of the College of Visual and Performing Arts and the School of Music by offering its students engaging jazz performance opportunities synchronized with in-depth study of the jazz tradition and practice. A thorough curriculum of jazz courses is designed to enhance performance ability and prepare future music educators to teach jazz in their communities. Course opportunities include jazz improvisation, jazz harmony, jazz history, applied private lessons in jazz improvisation and performance, and independent study classes on a variety of topics, such as jazz arranging, jazz pedagogy, and jazz literature. The Texas Tech Jazz Studies Program includes performance opportunities in the two full jazz big bands, several small jazz combos, and commercial and popular music ensembles.
What Sets Us Apart
Opportunities for Growth
Amid this enriching program, students find themselves at the center of a musical journey teeming with opportunities. A curriculum brimming with jazz courses, including jazz improvisation, jazz harmony, jazz history, and applied private lessons in jazz improvisation and performance, is designed to enhance performance abilities and prepare future music educators. Independent study classes covering a variety of jazz-related topics, from jazz arranging to jazz pedagogy and jazz literature, provide students the chance to delve deep into their passion.
Graduates of the program have a demonstrated record of success in student employment outcomes and job placement, with opportunities for future careers in the music industry, promising a fulfilling and prosperous journey in the world of music.
Collaboration with Renowned Jazz Artists
Students have the privilege of performing and collaborating with internationally recognized jazz artists, offering invaluable insights and mentorship. Recent guest artists include Tom Harrell, Jaleel Shaw, Allen Vizzutti, Steve Houghton, Bill Watrous, Ingrid Jensen, Rich Perry, Geoffrey Keezer, Jon Riley, Conrad Herwig, Dick Oatts, Wayne Bergeron, and many others.
Collegiate Jazz Festivals
The premier ensemble in the program, Texas Tech Jazz Orchestra, takes the stage at major collegiate jazz festivals nationwide, including the Crescent City Jazz Festival in New Orleans, UNC Greeley Jazz Festival, University of Kansas Jazz Festival, and Wichita Jazz Festival.
Ensembles and Performance Opportunities
Within the Texas Tech Jazz Studies program, students have the chance to explore a diverse range of performance opportunities. These include participation in two large jazz ensembles, engagement with several small jazz combos, and involvement in commercial and popular music ensembles.
Facilities & Technology
Texas Tech Jazz Studies offers students access to the School of Music's state-of-the-art recording studio led by Professor Hideki Isoda. Additionally, students may use Texas Tech's Crossroads Recording Studio, a professional multi-track recording facility with experienced recording engineers on staff. CRS is experienced in recording projects of diverse musical styles, jingles, voice-overs, 5.1 audio, and audio for video. The studio is free for all Texas Tech students, faculty, and staff. While on campus, Texas Tech Jazz students also have exclusive access to a jazz-specific practice and rehearsal laboratory. The lab has a computer with licensed, recent versions of Transcribe, Band-In-A- Box, and access to the entire library of Jamey Aebersold recordings. The lab also features a high-quality sound system, a large screen television, a high-definition webcam for virtual meetings/lessons, basic multi-track recording equipment, and a full complement of rhythm section instruments.
In order to apply for admission into Jazz Studies and the School of Music, follow these instructions.
Bachelor of Arts in Music (Jazz Performance Concentration)
Requires audition for admission. It is suggested that applicants prepare two contrasting selections, including one from the standard jazz repertoire, and perform the melody and improvise at least two choruses on each tune. Pianists and guitarists should also be able to perform ‘comping' on the chord progression, and bassists should be able to ‘walk' improvised bass lines. Drummers should be prepared to play a variety of styles, including but not limited to swing, Latin, and contemporary jazz-rock, at a variety of tempos. You may also prepare additional material of your choice. Contact one of the jazz faculty for further guidance. If you use a play-along track, you should plan to provide it, but we have a selection of tracks that you may use as well. Contact the jazz faculty before your audition if you need an audio track provided.
Master of Music (Jazz Performance Concentration)
Requires audition for admission – All applicants should prepare three contrasting selections (ballad, medium, and up-tempo) from the standard jazz repertoire and be prepared to perform the melody and improvise at least two choruses on each. Pianists and guitarists should also be able to perform ‘comping' on the chord progression, and bassists should be able to ‘walk' improvised bass lines. Drummers should be prepared to play a variety of styles, including but not limited to swing, Latin, and contemporary jazz-rock, at a variety of tempos. You may also prepare additional material of your choice. Contact one of the jazz faculty for further guidance. If you use a play-along track, you should plan to provide it, but we have a selection of tracks that you may use as well. Contact the jazz faculty before your audition if you need an audio track provided.
Large Jazz Ensembles (Jazz Ensemble I and II)
These groups are traditional ‘big bands' and perform a variety of classic, modern, and original literature. In addition to on-campus performances, Jazz Ensemble I tours regularly and has performed at major collegiate jazz festivals around the country. These ensembles may be counted toward the major ensemble requirement for undergraduate students TWICE during their four-year degree. They meet ALL major ensemble requirements for graduate students.
The Texas Tech small jazz ensembles, ranging in size from quartet to octet, focus on developing the art of improvisation in a chamber environment. These jazz combos are highly selective and perform a variety of small group jazz repertoire from classic to modern.
Undergraduate Jazz Classes
MUTH3205 – Intro to Jazz Harmony
MUAP3205 – Beginning Jazz Improvisation
MUAP 1001-4002 – Applied (private) improvisation lessons
MUEN 3105 – Large Jazz Ensembles (May be counted twice for major ensemble requirement)
MUEN 3106 – Jazz Combos
MUSI 4000 – Individual Studies (independent study seminars on a variety of jazz topics.)
MUHL 2304 - History of Jazz
MUAP5205 – Jazz Improvisation
MUAP5001 - Applied (private) improvisation lessons
MUEN5105 – Large Jazz Ensembles (May be counted for all major ensemble requirements)
MUEN5106 – Jazz Combos
MUAP6301 – Master's Recital I
MUAP6302 – Master's Recital II
MUAP5302 – Applied Music Literature (Jazz)
MUAP5303 – Applied Music Pedagogy (Jazz)
Recent alumni from the program have gone on to win professional posts with organizations and schools across the country.
- Samuel Bigott - Director of Bands/Jazz, Tom Moore High School, Ingram, TX
- Devin Collins - Instructor of Commercial Music, South Plains College, Lubbock, TX
- Jacob Diewald - Associate Director of Bands/Jazz, Plano Senior High School, Plano, TX
- Jesus Fuentes - Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant, University of Illinois, Champaign, IL
- Harlan Hodges - Professional composer, arranger, and performer, Los Angeles, CA
- Keith Morales - Director of Bands/Jazz, Del Valle High School, El Paso, TX
- Rex Novak - Director of Bands/Director of Jazz Studies, Sunnyvale ISD, Sunnyvale, TX
- Tracy Patterson - Associate Professor of Music (Jazz, Saxophone), Winthrop University, Rock Hill, SC
- Jonathan Rice - Lecturer of Music Theory and Applied Woodwinds, Franklin College, Franklin, IN
- Andrew Schoen - Instructor of Saxophone, Clemson University, Clemson, SC
- Colt Shires - Doctoral Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant, UT Arlington, Arlington, TX
Professor Stephen Jones Dr. Ben Haugland Dr. Kevin Whalen Dr. Fabio Augustinis
Director of Jazz Studies, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies (Jazz Saxophone)
Chair of Jazz Studies, Associate Professor of Jazz Studies (Jazz Piano)
Associate Professor of Trumpet and Jazz Studies (Jazz Trumpet)
Assistant Professor of Practice in Commercial Music and Drum Set
Professor Stephen Jones
Dr. Ben Haugland
Dr. Kevin Whalen
Dr. Fabio Augustinis