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Jazz Ensembles or Jazzgroup One - Audition

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

Jazz Ensembles (intermediate level) run on Mondays -*tutored by Andrew Dickeson* as well as Tuesdays and Thursdays - tutored by Ron Philpott. Jazzgroup One (advanced level) runs on Wednesdays - tutored by Brendan Clarke.

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.

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).

Jazzgroup One is suitable for students who may be interested in entering the full-time jazz degree program, as well as other experienced musicians. It is intended for advanced players who want to improve their knowledge base of jazz standards, improve their improvisation, rhythmic, aural, sight-reading, technical, and listening skills.

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.

The Spring term offers an opportunity to perform as part of a workshop concert at the end of the course.

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


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.

Andrew is the King. All hail The King!

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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