Jazz Improvisation-Mon. evening 5:00-7:00 PM
Jazz studies at Blinn College is not in it's 5th decade. The program offers to both music majors and non-majors the opportunity to broaden their study of music by participating in the study of America's signature original musical art form, jazz. Participants enjoy rehearsing and performing a wide variety of styles traditional in the jazz idiom such as forties-style swing, gentle ballads, many-faceted latin selections, and modern funk, rock, and fusion.
Jazz ensemble membership is by audition. Auditions are held on the first day of band week each August for saxophone (2 alto, 2 tenor, 1 bari), trombone (3 tenor, 1 bass), and trumpet (5). Audition music is sent out in summer upon your request, and there is a short sight-reading piece at the audition. Rhythm section players (guitar, piano, bass, drums, auxiliary percussion) and sound engineer audition during band week by appointment with the director. Upon selection to the ensemble, a small select group and the rhythm section are registered for a Monday evening jazz improvisation class. This class is not only for improving individual skills in improvised jazz solos, but also becomes the basis for Blinn's other jazz group, the jazz combo.
Most jazz ensemble members are already afforded substantial scholarships for general band participation, but in certain cases students with exceptional jazz abilities may be awarded an additional amount for jazz participation. For more specific scholarship information, contact Dr. Garrett at 979-830-4261 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Blinn Jazz Ensemble and the Blinn Combo are active throughout the fall and spring semesters, performing on-campus concerts, special community and holiday events, a concert tour, and often an appearance at one of a nearby neighboring university's jazz events. In addition, these groups host and perform at the annual Blinn College Buckin' Ear Jazz Festival in March. Students who excel in jazz are also eligible to audition for the Texas Community College All-State Jazz Ensemble early in the fall. Jazz ensemble, improvisation, and combo are part of the Blinn College Music Department which offers a variety of opportunities for students including private or group instruction (instrumental & vocal), marching and symphonic bands, chamber ensembles (woodwinds, brass, and percussion), choral groups, music theory, aural music, and music literature. Many of these courses transfer to four-year colleges and universities.
Jazz Ensemble rehearses on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00 PM to 2:25 PM in order to insure that top players can still participate in marching and symphonic bands on MWF's. Jazz Improvisation (Combo) meets on Monday evenings 5:00-7:00 PM. When registering, these two spaces should be left open in your class schedule as these are the only times for these performing groups.
One of the oldest two-year colleges in Texas, Blinn College has four campuses: in Brenham, Bryan, and Schulenburg, and Sealy and serves more than 15,000 students. The Brenham campus, home of the music department, is centrally located, making it ideal for students in or near Texas' largest cities.