faq

When does the Jazz Ensemble rehearse?
Do I have to own my own instrument?
Are there auditions?
What styles does the Jazz Ensemble perform?
How are parts chosen?
What about performances?
Is there a jazz combo?
Are there any other meetings outside of rehearsal?
How does the Jazz Ensemble pay for expenses?
Are there any other officer positions?
Who can I contact for more information?


When does the Jazz Ensemble rehearse?

Rehearsals are held on Mondays from 7PM to 9PM in the West Hall Music Suite. Occasionally, sectionals are also held on other nights.


Do I have to own my own instrument?

No. RPI maintains instruments for use by those who don't have their own. All you have to do is let the manager know you need an instrument and you will be directed to the right person.


Are there auditions?

Initially, there are no auditions to get into the RPI Jazz Ensemble. Simply show your interest in joining and attend the first few rehearsals. However, if a large number of students wish to play in a specific section (saxes, trumpets, etc...), auditions may be held for that section.


What styles does the Jazz Ensemble perform?

The RPI Jazz Ensemble performs a large variety of jazz styles, including bebop, Latin jazz, cool jazz, jazz funk, modern postbop, avant-garde, and traditional jazz. Occasionally, the ensemble performs swing tunes, but if you're interested primarily in playing swing, we have a swing band called the "Campus Serenaders" that performs classic and modern big band swing.


How are parts chosen?

If there are no auditions, parts are chosen based on preference, level of ability, style, seniority, and past experience. In the brass section, for example, the best readers with the highest ranges would most likely be playing lead, while the strong soloists would be second. This is determined in the first few rehearsals.


What about performances?

The RPI Jazz Ensemble performs four feature concerts throughout the year, in addition to annual performances for Family Weekend, GM Week, the January Jamboree, and the Rensselaer Arts Festival. Joint performances take place as well.


Is there a jazz combo?

Officially, there is no jazz combo. This may change in the near future, though. You always have the opportunity however to join an independent combo or start one of your own.


Are there any other meetings outside of rehearsal?

Occasionally, usually once per semester, the Manager or Director will hold a general meeting to discuss various topics and ideas.


How does the Jazz Ensemble pay for expenses?

Since the RPI Jazz Ensemble is a Student Union organization, expenses are handled through a Union-designated budget, which changes annually.


Are there other officer positions?

The RPI Jazz Ensemble designates unofficial officers annually in various areas such as public relations, sheet music, and ensemble coordination.


Who can I contact for more information?

If you have questions not on this page you would like answered about the RPI Jazz Ensemble, please contact the Manager, Jon Ford at fordj@rpi.edu or the Webmaster, Philip B. Pape, at papep@rpi.edu.