Do you want to be a better than average musician? Students who take the art form of
jazz seriously have the opportunity to join one of our jazz ensembles.
Every semester the big bands and combos give a formal concert and several informal
concerts, both on and off campus.
Each year the Left Bank Big Band and the Jazz Combo perform with a guest artist like such luminaries as: Louie Bellson, Steve Houghton,
Marion McPartland, Bob Shephard, Steve Kujala, Bill Watrous, Marvin Stamm, Bill Holman,
Jim McNeely, Randy Brecker, John Fedchock, Dick Oates, Dave Zoller, Ed Soph, Marcus
Roberts Trio, The USC Army Blues Band, Mark O'Connor and Hot Swing, and The Andy LaVerne
Trio. Matt White is director of Jazz Studies.
Students participating in jazz ensembles are expected to know the music well enough
to play from memory, attend all rehearsals and performances on time and prepared to
play your best, and have instruments in working order.
If you need to miss a rehearsal you must send a sub who plays as well or better than
you. Problem attendance will result in a lower semester grade.
Interested in participating in a Jazz ensemble?
Email Dr. Matt White to schedule auditions, held in the fall and spring semesters.
Trumpeter, Composer, Educator, and technologist Dr. Matthew White is a curious musician,
often blurring the lines between musical styles and conventions. Before entering academia,
he was a freelance and session musician in Nashville and Miami. He holds degrees from
the University of North Florida and The University of Miami and has appeared on numerous
Drummer, composer, educator and bandleader, Dr. Colleen Clark is the first drummer
and woman to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Performance at the world-renowned
University of North Texas, the oldest jazz institution in America.
Craig Butterfield is professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University of
South Carolina where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the Southeast.
Comfortable in many styles of music, Butterfield has performed extensively as a jazz
artist as well as a classical soloist and clinician.
Lauren Meccia is director of jazz bands at the University of South Carolina and UofSC
Aiken and instructor of saxophone at UofSC Aiken. She is the founder and director
of the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) New Horizons Band for senior adults in Aiken,
SC and assistant director of the Congaree New Horizons Band in Columbia, SC.
Aletha Jacobs is director of Carolina Alive and has performed in every kind of venue,
from playing and singing in bands, accompanying musicians and musicals, to performing
with orchestras. She has toured the Mediterranean and Central America performing for
our troops and has shared the stage with The Shirelles, The Drifters and Freddy Cole,
Bert Ligon is director of jazz studies. He toured with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra
and has performed with Chris Potter, Red Rodney, Randy Brecker, Marion McPartland,
Mel Torme, Dianne Schuur and others. He has published three books and several original
compositions and arrangements.