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Home of the Jazz Studies Division of the University of Central Oklahoma School of Music. Students utilize the Lab on a daily basis. The School of Music currently offers an undergraduate Minor in Jazz Studies (PDF), a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance (PDF), and a Master of Music in Jazz Studies (PDF) with Majors in Performance or Music Production. All UCO students, both music majors and non-majors, are welcome to audition and participate in our eleven student jazz groups.


All performance ensembles/combos and most related coursework are open to every UCO student regardless of major.


PLEASE NOTE: All UCO jazz ensemble/combo auditions take place during the first week of each semester at the Jazz Lab. Detailed information will always be posted online and discussed at the Jazz Program Meeting beginning at 3PM on the first day of school every semester.

 

FACULTY

Brian Gorrell

Brian Gorrell

Director of Jazz Studies
Jazz Ensemble I
M.M. Jazz Graduate Advisor
Applied Saxophone
405.974.5285

bgorrell@uco.edu

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Danny Vaughan

Danny Vaughan

Applied Jazz/Commercial Guitar
Jazz Pedagogy
405.974.5365

dannyvaughan7777@gmail.com

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Clint Rohr

Clint Rohr

Jazz Lab Director
Jazz History
405.974.5328

crohr@uco.edu

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Jeff Kidwell

Jeff Kidwell

Jazz Lab Assistant Director
Applied Trombone
Jazz Ensemble II
5th Street Strutters Dixieland Combo
405.974.5269

JKidwell3@uco.edu

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Kent Kidwell

Kent Kidwell

Professor Emeritus
UCO Jazz Program Founder

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Lee Rucker

Lee Rucker

Professor Emeritus
Applied Jazz Improvisation
Jazz Composers Combo

lrucker@uco.edu

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David Hardman

David Hardman

Director of Percussion
Conjunto de Jazz Latino Combo
405.974.5739

dhardman@uco.edu

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Michael Geib

Michael Geib

Applied Classical & Jazz Bass
Jazz Repertory Combo
Jazz Theory & Analysis
405.974.5752

mgeib@uco.edu

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Dennis Borycki

Dennis Borycki

Applied Jazz Piano
Music Technology & Production
405.974.5660

dborycki@uco.edu

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Ryan Sharp

Ryan Sharp

Applied Trumpet
Jazz Ensemble III
405.974.5754

rsharp6@uco.edu

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Zac Lee

Zac Lee

Jazz Arranging & Composition
Music Technology
Jazz Ensemble IV

exzaclee@hotmail.com

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Jack Helsley

Jack Helsley

Jazz Repertory Combo
Music Technology

jhelsley1@uco.edu

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History of the Program


In 1960 music faculty member Wayne Nichols, with support from colleague Jack Sisson, notably formed the first extracurricular student jazz band at the University of Central Oklahoma (Central State College at the time). A decade later Kent Kidwell formalized a student jazz ensemble as an accredited course in Central’s School of Music and founded our modern jazz program. Shortly thereafter Dr. Kidwell's band began receiving top honors at the Wichita Jazz Festival – at that time a prestigious international event hosting top bands from colleges nationwide, and many other regional events. With the notable addition of faculty member Lee Rucker in 1980, jazz at UCO has grown to now include eleven student jazz groups as of 2017. In 1986 one of these groups, the Civilized Tribe Dixieland Band, boarded a plane for California in hopes of doing what no other had before by capturing the title of Southern Comfort National Collegiate Dixieland Champions for a second time - three days later they did exactly that! As a result Jeff Kidwell, Lee Rucker, Danny Vaughan, Brian Gorrell, and many other UCO alumni have been largely responsible for keeping traditional New Orleans Jazz going strong at Central and throughout the OKC Metro for well over 35 years. UCO big bands, combos, and individual students have received numerous awards and honors for outstanding performances at events held literally around the world for over 50 years!

Current Director of Jazz Studies Brian Gorrell took over leadership of the award-winning UCO Jazz Ensemble 1 from Professor Emeritus Lee Rucker in 2009. That same year the group was notably invited to perform at both the 50th anniversary of the Jazz a Juan Festival in France (Europe’s oldest jazz festival) and the Umbria Jazz Festival in Italy. These invitations, along with significant administrative support, culminated in a major European tour in summer 2010. After an invitation in Fall 2011, UCO Jazz Ensemble I performed as a featured guest at the Jazz Education Network (JEN) International Conference in Louisville, KY the following January. In March 2012 our UCO Jazz Ensemble I was named “Outstanding Large Collegiate Jazz Ensemble” nationwide by Downbeat Magazine, the oldest and most prestigious jazz publication in the world. In Fall 2012, the Oklahoma Jazz Educators Association named Brian Gorrell “Collegiate Jazz Educator of the Year”, and our UCO Jazz Composers Combo was invited to perform as a closing group at the JEN Conference in Atlanta, GA the following January. In Fall 2013 UCO faculty member Jeff Kidwell was named “Collegiate Jazz Educator of the Year”, and on December 19, 2013, UCO Jazz Ensemble I was one of only two collegiate jazz groups nationwide selected to perform at the Midwest Clinic in Chicago – the oldest and largest band and orchestra conference in the world. In 2016, UCO Jazz Ensemble I was again cited for “Outstanding Graduate Performance” in Downbeat Magazine’s 39th Annual Student Music Awards, and Gorrell was again named “Collegiate Jazz Educator of the Year” by the OK Jazz Educators Association. In January 2017 UCO Jazz Ensemble I was selected (for the fourth time in the past eight years) to perform the honors jazz concert closing set at the Oklahoma Music Educators Annual Conference in Tulsa, and they again performed as a featured ensemble at the JEN Conference in New Orleans, LA.

 

In addition to offering a Minor in Jazz Studies (PDF), we offer Oklahoma's only Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies (PDF) and Master of Music in Jazz Studies with majors in Performance or Music Production (PDF).


ADMISSION & SCHOLARSHIP


Visit the College of Fine Arts and Design for admissions & School of Music general scholarship information.

You may contact Mr. Brian Gorrell directly to schedule a jazz merit scholarship audition. 
phone: (405) 974-2100 x 278

Fall 2016 Auditions
Fall 2017 Audition Results
TBA

JAZZ COURSE OFFERINGS

Jazz Ensembles I, II, III, & IV
Latin Jazz Ensemble
Jazz Guitar Ensemble
Vocal Jazz Ensemble (Chamber Swingers)
Undergraduate & Graduate Jazz Combos 

Jazz Theory & Analysis

Applied Jazz Improvisation

Jazz History

Jazz Pedagogy

Graduate Jazz Recital

Applied Jazz Piano

Annual Summer Jazz Camp
Recording Technology Workshop
Annual Summer Guitar Workshop
Music Technology
Computer Music Technology
Advanced Recording Technology
CD Album Pre-Production
CD Album Production
Applied Jazz Arranging
Jazz & Commercial Music Arranging
Arts Management

University of Central Oklahoma - Master of Music Program

COURSE documents


Jazz Division Information Sheet (PDF)


Jazz Ensemble Flyer (PDF)


Undergraduate Bachelor of Music - Jazz Performance Curriculum (PDF)


Undergraduate Minor in Jazz Studies Curriculum (PDF)

 

Master of Music in Jazz Studies 2012 Brochure (PDF) 

Master of Music in Jazz Studies Detailed Info (PDF)

 

Master of Music in Jazz Studies Audition Requirements (PDF) 

 

UCO School of Music Audition Information

UCO School of Music Online Application Form

A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS
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