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Jazz Ensembles - Audition

This course has no current classes. Please the waiting list.

These classes are designed for students who wish to develop confident improvisation, aural and sight reading skills. They provide an ensemble-based environment for the development of personal jazz skills, along with an understanding of the dynamics at work in a small performance group. Typically there will be drums, electric bass, piano, horns (trumpet, alto, tenor) and guitar as the usual line-up. Other instruments are welcome (vibes, flute etc). During the term: Drummers will need to provide the following accessories: 2 x cymbal sleeves, 2 x cymbal felts, 1 x hihat clutch, 1 x hihat washer & felt. as well as your sticks and brushes. The rehearsal room will have a drum kit and cymbals, amps and piano.

Combining improvisation with work on arrangements, students gain skills on their instruments as well as increasing confidence for performing with other instrumentalists. As those various skills develop, students will be able to recognise and produce aspects that make up good ensemble playing.

Students will benefit from and enjoy working with other players of similar abilities, learning from each other as well as from the tutor.

Gaining flight hours in ensemble performance ensures that students can approach other ensemble situations with more assurance and ability.

At the end of the Autumn and Spring terms the groups will have a chance to perform in the Conservatorium’s Music Cafe for family and friends.

Entry is by audition and requires a reasonable working knowledge of improvisation, rhythm, melody and harmony

PLEASE NOTE: Only vacant places will be auditioned, current members are invited to reenrol and auditionees will be notified as soon as possible if their instrument does not have a vacant position. In such cases a refund will be issued.

A 15 minute unaccompanied audition to determine which ensemble suits you best. You should be prepared to play two jazz standards of your choice, to improvise over a blues head and to do some basic sight reading of a chart. Drummers will also be asked to demonstrate time-feel and styles.

Jazz Ensembles are run on Mondays: - tutored by Andrew Dickeson, Tuesdays - tutored by Brendan Clarke and Wednesdays - tutored by Hannah James


Ron is a remarkable music talent and has a great relaxed yet sharp style of direction, always delivered with encouragement and enthusiasm.

Andrew successfully inspires and encourages us to improve and enjoy the classes.

Hannah is not only a great bass player but also an insightful & encouraging tutor who always seems to get the best from the members of her jazz combo.

Andrew is the King. All hail The King!

Ron is fantastic at teaching the class. Really helped me with my small ensemble playing

Ron gives great advice and is patient. Let’s you figure some stuff out without imposing one particular perspective on things. The little snippets of jazz history he includes are great. I’ve learnt a lot and become more confident in my playing.

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