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Skidmore College
Music Department

Jazz Ensemble

Skidmore Jazz Ensemble

Students may perform in the Small Jazz Ensemble program or in the Skidmore Big Band. Jazz combos are coached by John Nazarenko, Mark Vinci, and George Muscatello, and offer students opportunities to develop their improvisational skills. The makeup of the small jazz groups is determined by student performance levels (by audition) and may include from three to eight players. Typically there is a rhythm section (piano, bass, drums) and horns, guitars, or vocalists. The groups rehearse two hours per week and take part in several performance opportunities throughout the semester, including a final concert at the end of the term. Many of the groups rehearse and perform outside of their class time as well. Students interested in SJE should contact John Nazarenko to arrange for an audition either at pre-registration or the beginning of the semester.

The Skidmore Big Band is directed by Mark Vinci and offers students the opportunity to perform in a large jazz group. The group may include as many as 20 to 25 members and rehearses one evening per week. Performances include a final concert at the end of the term and occasional road trips. Entry to the Big Band is by audition. Interested students should contact Mark Vinci for information.

Lessons in Jazz

Private instrumental lessons in jazz studies are available with Skidmore faculty. Lessons are arranged with teachers by audition or interview and may be taken for credit or audited. Weekly lessons are 45 minutes, and by arrangement with the instructor, may be taken for one hour. There is an additional fee for private lessons. (Check the current Catalog for lesson fees). The following areas of instrumental studies are available:

Area of Study Instructor
Jazz piano John Nazarenko
Sax, flute, and improvisation Mark Vinci
Acoustic and electric bass Rich Syracuse
Guitar George Muscatell
Drums and vibes Mark Foster