course outline

The purpose of this course is to provide an opportunity for players to develop their band playing skills and their improvisationsal skills. Two ensemble formats provide the context in which this will happen. Namely the big band and combo formats.

There are three terms in the year with each term consisting of 10 x 3 hour blocks. Students will work towards participation in end of term professional big band concerts and will also be invited to sit in on monthly JAZZKLUB sessions as guest players. These are to be considered the practical outlets for all that is taught during the course. The course will therefore focus on tunes and arrangements that are drawn from the DGK and DGG/JAZZKLUB programmes.

The course draws its source material from 20th century Popular Music in the broadest sense. Jazz in particular is an important ingredient but blended with other styles with which it often interacts: Latin, Afro Cuban, Blues, Funk, Rhythm & Blues, Soul, Rock n Roll and more…Jazz is a language that has developed over an extended period of time with a history that must be impressed upon the student if they are to have a complete appreciation of the genre. Various approaches will be taken to the teaching of improvisational skills.

Ultimately, the course will have achieved its aims if the individual student – by the end of term/year – is able to sit in with DGK/DGG in as professional a way as possible.