2015 Marshall University Winter Jazz Festival

January 29-31, 2015



Jazz Directors and Enthusiasts!


Please accept this invitation to participate in and attend the 2015 Marshall University Jazz Festival. Our special guests this year will be The Sean Jones Quartet! Sean Jones, trumpet, and his group are arguably among the top jazz musicians in the world today! This will be a truly outstanding opportunity for the student participants of the festival to work with Sean Jones, and to hear his group in live performance will undoubtedly be one of the highlights of 2015.


The Festival will begin the evening of January 29 with a performance by the selected High School Honor Jazz Ensemble and performances by MU student combos, as well as by our own faculty jazz combo. Performances on Friday and Saturday nights will include the Marshall University Jazz Ensemble featuring some of our guest adjudicators, the Thundering Herd All- Star Ensemble, the Marshall University Jazz Alumni Big Band, and of course the Sean Jones Quartet. There will also be concerts and clinics during the day by the MU Jazz Ensemble and by various clinicians and MU faculty.


After much positive feedback, the clinics for educators will continue this year! Topics will include strategies for strengthening the skills of your ensembles, thoughts about literature, warm-ups, and methods, and ideas about how to keep your students engaged in learning!


*New this year: We would like to invite full jazz ensembles and jazz combos, at the high school and middle school levels, to participate! Any size jazz ensemble is eligible to participate and receive feedback, and will also have the opportunity to work with some of the best professional jazz musicians in the country.


Directors will again have a choice about what type of critique you would like to receive about your performance! Although the format of the festival has not changed, (it will still be non-competitive in nature) directors will have a choice about the feedback you would like to receive. You may elect to:

  • Receive the standard comments without any rating
  • Receive comments, but also with a hypothetical rating that only the director can view (in other words, how you may have been rated if this were a competitive competition like state ratings festival)


We will also be awarding outstanding soloist awards and outstanding section awards at the end of each festival day in a brief ceremony before the evening concerts, so please keep your students there for the evening concerts if at all possible!


As we have done in the past, we ask for nominations from directors of students who should participate in the Thundering Herd All-Stars ensemble! *However, this year the process will be more competitive: We would also like for the students to submit an mp3 or video of them playing a jazz selection!! The submission of a playing example can be submitted via email to the address that will be on the online application form. Due to this, only online applications for the All-Stars will be accepted!! There are instructions on the online application concerning what type of music selections to submit, length, format, etc. This group is comprised of a select group of top jazz students from our region, and they will have the opportunity to work with a master jazz educator for a few days, culminating in a performance on the final Saturday evening concert. Directors, start thinking about any students that you feel could best represent your schools!


This promises to be an exciting year for the festival! Along with this letter, you will also find an application for the festival, an application for the Honor ensemble, and a nomination form for the Thundering Herd All-Star ensemble. You may find a link to these applications below.


We look forward to receiving your applications, and to listening to your performances and working with your students. If you should have any questions regarding the festival or the application process, do not hesitate to ask!


Winter Jazz Festival Application

Winter Jazz Festival Honor Ensemble

Thundering Herd All-Star Nomination Form