Jazz Studies

Jazz Studies: The Graduate Program

Program director: Dr. David Demsey

The Master of Music Jazz Studies concentration initiated in fall 1999 offers a comprehensive experience in enhanced small jazz ensemble, solo performance, and arranging/composition, an opportunity to raise and refine the level of improvisation and instrumental/vocal performance skills, the potential for high-level, primary source research and writing only available in the New York area, and awareness of current pedagogical techniques in improvisation and arranging. A deeper level of study arises from added historical and theoretical background (in the Western European tradition as well as in jazz), primary source research and graduate-level writing opportunities uniquely available in jazz, current technological innovations as they relate to jazz, and application of these issues to pedagogical techniques in the college and public school classroom.

View requirements and course descriptions in the University Course Catalog
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jazz vocal group

Program Features

Over 20 ensembles perform each semester-duos, trios, quintets, sextets, Big Band, Latin Band, Repertory Band, Vocal Workshop, Vocal Lab. Focus on improvisation, as well as repertoire, group performance techniques.

WP Jazz Faculty - Veteran New York musicians with international reputations as performers, recording artists, arrangers and conductors in residence-accessible and dedicated to teaching.

Small Jazz Program Size - Twenty graduate students are given many opportunities for one-on-one interaction.

Performance Opportunities - Jazz majors perform in four weekly ensemble rehearsals. Student groups are featured as opening for professional jazz artists on William Paterson's renowned Jazz Room Concert Series, on the University's Midday Recital Series, in the annual Willowbrook Jazz Festival, and in a number of area jazz clubs.

Dialogue Days - Small jazz group showcase performances followed by critiques from faculty and fellow students.

All prospective students are invited to attend the following Jazz Dialogue Days:

Thursday, October 27
1:00 – 5:00 pm
Shea Recital Hall 101
Music of Charlie Parker:
12 Student Ensembles perform and are critiqued by their peers and the faculty

Tuesday, November 8
1:00 – 5:00 pm
Shea Recital Hall 101
Music of Cole Porter:
12 Student Ensembles perform and are critiqued by their peers and the faculty

Private Instrument/Vocal Study for all jazz majors with William Paterson's respected resident and adjunct faculty.

Challenging Full-Course Sequences in Improvisation, Ear Training, Jazz History and Analysis, Small Group and Big Band Arranging, Piano, Comprehensive Musicianship.