Concert Jazz Band picture 2   MU Jazz at Studio picture 2

The School of Music offers MU undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue jazz, America’s original musical art form.  Areas of study include performance and improvisation, jazz history, jazz theory, and arranging. The Certificate and Minor are not intended for beginners; rather, they are for students with basic musical knowledge. Hence, some of the required courses have pre-requisites, and auditions are required both for ensembles and for admission to the programs.

The Graduate Certificate in Jazz Studies is a two-year program that provides opportunities for continued development of skills in jazz-specific areas, such as improvisation, pedagogy, and arranging. The certificate is available to degree-seeking and non-degree seeking students alike, non-music as well as music majors, and is designed as an intensive into jazz performance. The program will deepen the student’s preparation for a career in jazz performance or prepare the student for further study in jazz.

MU/RBHS Jazz Festival

This festival, sponsored by the University of Missouri School of Music and Rock Bridge High School, will be held Saturday, February 2, 2019 and is open to all middle and high school large ensembles or combos. Sight-reading and scoring are both optional, but are required if you wish to qualify for the Command Performance. This year we will be opening up a second venue just for combo performances. Participants will have the option of just performing for festival patrons (at no extra charge) or being critiqued by an adjudicator on stage (additional charge of $75). Combos will be given a 30 minute slot for performance only (including set-up and break-down) or a 60 minute slot for performance and feedback. We belive this format will provide students a special opportunity to receive valuable personalized feedback on improvisation.

Registration deadline is January 15, 2019. 

Update as of 1/10/19: We have reached our maximum capacity and registration is now closed. We look forward to seeing you next year! 

2019 MU/RBHS Jazz Festival Application

2019 MU/RBHS Jazz Festival Combo Experience Application

Entry Fees: $200 for the first group, $150 for each additional group, $75 for combo performance with critique

Please submit payment via check, payable to: University of Missouri

MU/RB Jazz Festival
202 Loeb Hall
Columbia, MO 65211

MU Jazz Festival History and Objectives

During the winter 1987 term, the University of Missouri-Columbia Jazz Studies Program, in conjunction with the Zeta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and the student chapter of the International Association for Jazz Education, began a new annual jazz festival on campus. The organizers sought to bring together the finest junior high and high school instrumentalists, highly qualified and respected jazz adjudicators, and top quality clinicians. The MU Jazz Festival is about education, with the following objectives:

1) To provide a major jazz education event for junior high, high school, and college students, as well as teachers

2) To bring together outstanding jazz artists, educators, and student musicians in planned and shared educational and musical experiences that promote the students’ musical growth

3) To expose students of music to performances by America’s great improvisational artists

4) To give students and the general public alike a deeper understanding and appreciation of America’s own music – Jazz

Though the mission remains the same, the festival has been tweaked to make for a deeper educational experience. The MU/Rock Bridge Jazz Festival, now co-hosted by Rock Bridge High School, will offer workshops and clinics with renowned jazz educators from throughout the region in a ratings-only format, with an option to participate in sight-reading. Although the format is ratings-only, the band with the top score will be invited to present a Command Performance on the festival concert. Additionally, the top soloists will be invited to perform with the MU Concert Jazz Band. Bands from all over the state of Missouri will participate in this unique festival!

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Jazz Faculty

Dr. Sam Griffith Sam Griffith
Assistant Teaching Professor, Jazz
121 Loeb Hall