Winter Jazz Festival


Jazz Studies Program

2016 Marshall University Winter Jazz Festival

*NEW DATE* – February 18-20, 2016


Jazz Directors and Enthusiasts!

Promo Shot 2015 hi-res (2)

Please accept this invitation to participate in and attend the 2016 Marshall University Jazz Festival.  Notice the NEW DATE!!  Our special guest this year will be Jim Snidero, one of the top jazz saxophonists and jazz educators in the United States. This will truly be an outstanding opportunity for the student participants of the festival to work with Mr. Snidero, and to hear his live performance with Jazz I, our top jazz ensemble.


The Festival will begin the evening of February 18 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 highlight the Jazz I Ensemble featuring some of our guest adjudicators, the Thundering Herd All- Star Ensemble, the Marshall University Jazz Alumni Big Band, and of course the great Jim Snidero. Concerts and clinics during the day by the MU Jazz Ensemble, and by various clinicians and MU faculty, will give all students opportunities to learn from the professionals!


After much positive feedback, the clinics for educators will continue! 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!


As of last year, we 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.


We will also be awarding outstanding soloist awards and/or 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 high school students who could participate in the Thundering Herd All-Stars ensemble!  Directors may send those nominations in bulk via email to me, however each student recommended will need to fill out an online application!  We would also like for the students to submit, via email to me or any other method, an mp3 or video of them playing a jazz selection, if at all possible!!  This allows us to place students where they will enjoy the most success within the ensemble.  The submission of a playing example can be submitted via email to the address that will be on the online application form.  There are instructions on the online application concerning what type of music selections to submit, length, format, etc.  This group is comprised 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!  Only online applications for the chosen All-Stars will be accepted!!  


This promises to be an exciting year for the festival!  Along with this letter, you will also find a group 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 online at our MU Jazz Studies page 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!



Martin Saunders
Director of Jazz Studies
Marshall University
(304) 696-4316 – Office
(304) 638-1970 – Cell


Winter Jazz Festival Application

Winter Jazz Festival Honor Ensemble

Thundering Herd All-Star Application Form