Auditions for the Mississippians and the Collegians jazz ensembles as well as the UM Jazz Combos 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, sight reading and an opportunity to improvise over F blues or B-flat blues. Check back here for the audition etude later in the summer.
The Mississippians Jazz Ensemble
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 recently completed a tour of France and Italy with performances in Genoa, Santa Margherita, Rome and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Perugia. The band performs on campus several times throughout the year and performed at the 2016 Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival and the 2012 Jazz Education Network National Conference. The band has performed on Oxford’s Double Decker Arts Festival and performed live from the Grove on the SEC Network’s “SEC Nation.” Guest artists and clinicians have included Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Cyrus Chestnut, Tommy Igoe, Julian Bliss, 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
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 rehearse on MWF at 12:00 and perform a concert each semester.
UM Jazz Combos
Jazz combos are small groups of 5-7 that provide students the opportunity to explore improvisation, arranging and composing. We typically have two or three combos and a faculty combo that perform at Proud Larry’s on the Oxford Square each semester. Our top jazz combo performed at the 2022 JENerations Jazz Festival in Dallas as part of the Jazz Education Network National Conference.
UM Salsa Project
The UM Salsa Project is a collaboration between the University of Mississippi’s percussion studio, directed by Ricky Burkhead, and the jazz studio, directed by Michael Worthy. Made up of UM students, staff, and alumni from around the nation, the Project expresses its love and respect for salsa and other Latin styles with all of the energy and technicality Latin music demands. The Salsa Project has performed on Oxford’s Double Decker Arts Festival and Lexington’s Homecoming.