A variety of courses and performance opportunities are available to all EIU students. Auditions for all EIU jazz groups are held at the beginning of each fall semester. Auditions consist of sight reading and prepared material. Improvisation is optional for big band auditions but required to play in a combo.
For those students who may be interested in pursuing a college degree in jazz, Jazz Studies is available as a concentration within the Bachelor of Music Degree. This degree program is designed to offer the student a comprehensive study of jazz music from academic and performance perspectives. It is well known in the region for its high quality instruction and successful graduates. We offer a strong foundation in improvisation, jazz history and theory, arranging, and ensemble performance. Our staff is comprised of established performers, writers, and teachers such as arranger Allan Horney and jazz pianist Paul Johnston.
Students who wish to become Jazz Studies majors are required to perform the standard instrumental audition, plus demonstrate improvisational ability and jazz skills related to their particular instrument.
Jazz Studies Majors may also elect to pursue teacher licensure by completing all requirements listed in the University General Catalog.
The Jazz Studies Course Sequence (pdf) outlines classes students take during a 4-year course of study. All students study privately with an applied teacher. In addition, jazz studies majors have the opportunity to study jazz privately on a weekly basis as part of the curriculum. For more detailed information please see the EIU Jazz Handbook.