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Our jazz studies program values both rigorous training in traditional forms of jazz and also the most experimental approaches to improvised and arranged music.

The Program

Embedded in a program that focuses on both historical and contemporary improvisation, our jazz studies students engage deeply in solo and large ensemble work but also devote significant time to small group playing.

As they develop their skills, our jazz studies students get to work with some of the region’s leading practitioners and have frequent opportunities to learn from a host of visiting artists, including established legends and rising stars.

We recognize the importance of history, theory, arranging and improvisation and we believe deeply in the need to connect with our community. Our students have access to a rich, jazz-loving environment and often have opportunities to perform across campus and in our community.

Performance Opportunities

Encompassing over 100 students, our jazz bands and combos perform repertoire from the traditional and contemporary jazz lexicon.

Interim Director of Jazz Studies

Tim Powell

Senior Lecturer, Saxophone
Winds & Percussion
Senior Lecturer, Jazz Saxophone
Interim Director, Jazz Studies
Interim Director, Jazz Ensembles

2121 The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
College Park MD, 20742

(301) 405-5549

Jazz Studies Faculty



Course Duration Credits
Lessons 5 semesters 10
Jazz Ensemble 5 semesters 5
Class piano 2 semesters 4
Music theory 5 semesters 17
Music history 4 semesters 12
Improvisation 1 semester 3
General education, languages, and electives 69


Course Duration Credits
Lessons + Senior recital 8 semesters 18
Jazz Ensemble 8 semesters 8
Jazz Combo 8 semesters 8
Class piano 2 semesters 4
Music theory 5 semesters 15
Music history 5 semesters 15
Jazz Arranging 1 course 3
Improvisation 1 course 3
Conducting 1 semester 2
General education and electives 42


Course Duration Credits
Lessons + Recital 4 semesters 10
Large Ensemble 4 semesters 4
Small Ensemble 4 semesters 4
Improvisation 1 course 3
Jazz Arranging 1 course 3
Research Methods 1 course 3
Jazz Theory 1 course 3
Jazz History 1 course 3