The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble

The University of Mississippi
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  • Ole Miss Jazz Alumni Reunion
    May 6 & 7


    The Mississippians perform at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival

    The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble just returned from a tour through Illinois and Indiana where the group performed at the Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival on Feb. 27, 2016. Held annually since 1959, The Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival is the oldest and most prestigious festival of its kind. The festival has a rich history of bringing world-renowned artists to judge and clinic selected jazz ensembles from across the country. The band performed in a prime slot on Saturday night and received an enthusiastic standing ovation from the audience and judges. The band was awarded First Division ratings by all five judges, and two soloists, Alicia Venchuk on guitar and Hunter McGuary on trombone, were award certificates for outstanding performance. Other highlights from the tour included performance rehearsals at Illinois State University, Elkhart Central High School (IN) and tours of the Bach and Selmer musical instrument factories in Elkhart.

    Jazz at Ole Miss

    The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble is an 18-piece big band under the direction of Dr. Michael Worthy. Members of the band are University of Mississippi undergraduate and graduate students majoring in music and other academic disciplines. Students enroll for academic credit and meet for three fifty-minute rehearsals per week on MWF at 12:00. The band performs on campus several times throughout the year and recently performed at the 2016 Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival and the 2012 Jazz Education Network National Conference. Recent guest artists and clinicians include Branford Marsalis, Jeff Coffin & The Mu’tet, Roy “Futureman” Wooten, Mark Taylor,  Jim Snidero, Marcus Printup, Elliot Mason, and Ali Jackson.

    The Collegians Jazz Ensemble offers students the opportunity to learn the various styles that are common in big band performance, including swing, latin, rock and funk. The Collegians perform a concert each semester.

    Jazz combos provide students the opportunity to explore improvisation, arranging and composing.

    Auditions for 2016-17

    Auditions for the Mississippians and the Collegians jazz ensembles are held at the beginning of the academic year during the first week of the fall semester. Placements are typically for one year. The audition includes a prepared jazz etude (available in the Band Office beginning Aug. 17), sight reading and an opportunity to improvise. Wind instrumentalists may sign up for a Monday, Aug. 22 or Tuesday, Aug. 23 audition time slot and rhythm section instrumentalists may sign up for a Wednesday, Aug. 24 audition time slot.


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    Ole Miss alum Jeff Callaway soloing with The Collegians at the Jazz Alumni Reunion 
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    The Collegians opening the Jazz Alumni Reunion at the Inn at Ole Miss