Your Future in Jazz Studies

Our graduates are professional performers, composers, arrangers, teachers and producers. As entrepreneurs, some have started their own companies and bands. Others have successful careers outside of music while continuing to play at a high level. They work in:

  • Jazz clubs
  • Concert halls
  • Broadway theatres
  • Churches
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Recording studios
  • U.S. armed forces bands

What we offer

UNT's Jazz Studies program is widely regarded as one of the nation's most respected and was the first degree program of its kind in the field.

Our faculty members are dedicated teachers as well as nationally and internationally known performers. They've earned Grammy Award nominations, toured internationally, conducted classes at the renowned Jamey Aebersold Summer Jazz Workshops and written books about jazz.

We provide you many opportunities to perform with on- and off-campus ensembles. This includes the One O'Clock Lab Band, which has earned six Grammy Award nominations and toured Europe, Japan, Thailand and Australia. We also sponsor the acclaimed Jazz Singers. Other jazz ensembles include:

  • Eight additional jazz lab bands
  • Four Jazz Singers groups
  • The L-5 and Super 400 electric guitar ensembles
  • The Zebras contemporary music ensemble
  • The Jazz Repertory Ensemble
  • The Latin Jazz Ensemble
  • The U-Tubes jazz trombone ensemble

An annual lecture series provides unique perspectives on jazz. This series has featured Dave Brubeck, Ingrid Jensen, Tierney Sutton, Mike Moreno, Billy Hart, Curtis Fuller, John Abercrombie, Nasheet Waits, Wycliffe Gordon and Chris Potter.

Our outstanding facilities include the Murchison Performing Arts Center, which houses the Winspear Performance Hall and the Lyric Theater; the Voertman Concert Hall; and the Stan Kenton Hall. You can perfect your performance techniques in one of our 300 practice rooms. The college is also home to the Maynard Ferguson Music Library, the Stan Kenton Collection and the Gene Puerling Collection.

Strong student support

Numerous scholarships are available to help you pursue your degree. These scholarships are awarded based on talent and an audition. Approximately 75 Jazz Studies majors have received endowed jazz scholarships. Information about other financial assistance programs is available at the financial aid website.

A Living-Learning Community brings together jazz studies students who live on campus to enhance academic and social experiences.

About the college

The College of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21; Reston, Va. 20190-5248; telephone 703-437-0700). This accreditation means the college meets or exceeds strict academic standards for excellence in education. Our jazz studies alumni include:

  • Bassists Mike Pope, Tony Scherr and Matt Wigton
  • Composers Alan Baylock, Yumiko Sunami, Brad Turner and Dale Wilson
  • Drummers Keith Carlock, Ari Hoenig and John Riley
  • Guitarists Tim Miller, Rick Peckham and Bruce Saunders
  • Musician/producers Bob Belden and Dave Love
  • Pianists Lyle Mays, Jon Ballantyne, Pavel Wlosok and Stefan Karlsson
  • Saxophonists "Blue Lou" Marini, Jim Snidero, Tim Ries, Craig Handy and Jeff Coffin
  • Trombonists Tom "Bones" Malone, Conrad Herwig, Steve Wiest and Sara Jacovino
  • Vocalists Norah Jones, JD Walter and Alison Wedding

What to expect

You'll need to be accepted to the College of Music through an audition before declaring a major in Jazz Studies. Auditions are held on campus during the spring semester to enroll the following school year. If you can't audition in person, you may submit a video or an audio recording. Once you're accepted into the college, you'll take a placement exam in piano, as well as laboratory and ensemble placement auditions.

As a Jazz Studies major, your course work will include:

  • Jazz arranging
  • Jazz history
  • Jazz improvisation
  • Jazz theory, aural skills and piano
  • Performing in small and large ensembles
  • A senior recital

Our Career Center, Learning Center and professional academic advisors are among the many valuable resources available to you at UNT. The Career Center can provide advice about internships, future employment opportunities and getting hands-on experience in your major. The Learning Center offers workshops on speed reading, study skills and time management. Academic advisors will help you plan your class schedule each semester.