EIU Jazz Ensembles
EIU Jazz Ensemble
The EIU Jazz Ensemble is directed by Sam Fagaly. The group has received numerous awards including Outstanding Ensemble and Solo Performance citations at the Notre Dame, and Elmhurst Jazz Festivals and Downbeat magazine's prestigious "DB" award signifying the group as the nation's best college big band. The band released its first CD, "Eastern Time Zone" in 1994. Their latest recording "In The Pocket" is currently available. The group has performed with legendary jazz artists such as Mel Torme, Dizzy Gillespie, Diane Schuur and Joe Williams.
EIU Jazz Combo
EIU Jazz Combo Program is coordinated by Paul Johnston. Three to four combos are instructed by faculty and meet twice each week. Each group performs at least two concerts per semester, and groups often have additional off-campus performances. This organized and faculty-supervised combo program is one of strengths of Jazz Studies at EIU. Repertoire includes the music of Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Wayne Shorter, Charlie Parker, along with the standards of Cole Porter, Kurt Weill, George Gershwin, and others. Emphasis is placed on improvisation and the application of material presented in the four levels of improvisation classes. In recent years, Eastern combos have been recognized for outstanding performances at the Elmhurst, North Texas, and Notre Dame Jazz Festivals.
EIU Jazz Lab Band
The EIU Jazz Lab Band, directed by Paul Johnston, has two performances each semester. The group provides an opportunity for more students to gain experience with big band repertoire. Rehearsals emphasize fundamentals of stylistic interpretation, articulation, and improvisation.