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Studios

Jazz Studio

At UCF, studios are where you study with your private teacher for lessons and masterclasses on your specific instrument. It is also where music majors form a community with others studying the same instrument in an environment that encourages learning from and performing with each other. All music majors study with our world-renowned UCF faculty members with weekly lessons and studio masterclasses.

In the jazz studio, while much of your studies will happen with your instrument’s faculty member, you will take theory, improv, history and more with many of the instructors in jazz and across the music department and experience different styles and techniques.

If you are interested in studying jazz at UCF, you can learn more about the Jazz Studies Track, jazz ensembles or reach out to Jeffery Rupert, Director of Jazz Studies.

Current students can find the Jazz Studies Handbook on the Student Resources page.

Jazz students studying bass will work directly with Richard Drexler with weekly individual lessons and collective master classes. The curriculum sequence is designed to prepare students to work professionally as a musician. The jazz faculty are not just theoretical teachers, they each have impressive voluminous credits as working musicians with international reputations.

Jazz bass students have opportunities to play in the two big bands and many small ensembles, each performing multiple times per semester on and off campus. Each semester, there are four to five Jazz Studies jam sessions where each class play together their repertoire tunes before the rest of the department and are critiqued. There are several rooms set up for small group playing and we encourage jam sessions of different combinations of students.

Richard Drexler tailors his teaching to the skill level, interests and aspirations of each student beyond the basics of jazz theory and playing the instrument. There is a heavy emphasis on listening and learning aurally. Students will leave the studio prepared for success as a professional bassist with the knowledge to initiate the steps to embark on that life track including the study of music business.

Several of the recent jazz bass graduates are still in the Orlando area working regularly. Many of the jazz bass students arrived at UCF as electric bassists with little or no acoustic bass experience. One in particular, Greg Zabel, auditioned with the pass part to In the Mood as his jazz tune. Ironically, immediately after graduating he won the bass chair with the Glenn Miller Orchestra and traveled with them for two years before returning to Orlando.

Click here to learn about the general bass studio.

Students studying drum set will study directly with a faculty member. Students receive one-on-one time through private lessons as well as small and large ensemble experience.

Each student will work with their studio instructor to create a course of study that fits their goals and career aspirations.

» Sample studio schedule: Jazz drums, years 1-4

» Click here to learn about the general percussion studio.

Students studying jazz guitar will study directly with a faculty member. Students receive one-on-one time through private lessons as well as small and large ensemble experience. 

Each student will work with their studio instructor to create a course of study that fits their goals and career aspirations. 

Click here to learn about the general guitar studio.

Students studying jazz piano will study directly with a faculty member. Students receive one-on-one time through private lessons as well as small and large ensemble experience.

Each student will work with their studio instructor to create a course of study that fits their goals and career aspirations.

Click here to learn about the general piano studio.

Jazz saxophone students study with Director of Jazz Studies, Jeff Rupert, and saxophone faculty member, George Weremchuk. Students should be prepared to grow beyond your expectations, to work hard and have a lot of fun performing jazz music. It is recommended saxophonists check out the UCF Jazz Studies Handbook and get a start on learning scales and tunes, all listed by semester.

As a saxophonist, there are a wide array of work, from jazz, to pop and commercial outlets. All of our freshmen in the jazz sax studio complete an in-depth goals and assessment exercise which covers detailed options for students and helps set goals for the four years ahead. Studying in the Orlando market gives students an edge over many other markets – there is work here for musicians and our majors are active performers.

Jazz saxophone students have opportunities to play in the two big bands and many small ensembles, each performing multiple times per semester on and off campus. Each semester, there are four to five Jazz Studies jam sessions where each class play together their repertoire tunes before the rest of the department and are critiqued. There are several rooms set up for small group playing and we encourage jam sessions of different combinations of students.

At the end of your four years at UCF, you will have mastered many aspects of applied saxophone and jazz improvisation. Most importantly, you will have acquired the tools to continue to learn and how to reveal and revise your own curriculum to continue success and growth.

Former jazz saxophone students have gone on to great careers including recording sound tracks in Hollywood (first call), scoring for film and performing around the world in well-known jazz and commercial groups. Several former students are doing well on the New York City jazz scene and others are now college professors.

Click here to learn about the general saxophone studio.

Students in the trombone studio will study directly with faculty member, Luis Fred, for individual lessons, chamber coaching and orchestral sectionals. Fred has an extensive career stretching more than 30 years that includes organizations such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid. Prior to his appointment at UCF, Fred was the principal trombone with the Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra and currently is a member of the Trombones de Costa Rica, a trailblazing quartet that is in high demand for conferences and seminars.

Trombonists can audition for ensembles such as the UCF Symphony Orchestra, Flying Horse Big Band, UCF Wind Ensemble and more. Trombone students will also perform in the UCF Trombone Choir and brass chamber ensembles that perform a wide repertoire of chamber music. The UCF Trombone Choir has travelled internationally to Costa Rica and has done many concerts around Florida. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in community concerts and activities to augment their training at UCF.

The studio features master classes and guest artist recitals with renowned trombonists wuch as Jay Friedman and Michael Mulcahy (Chicago Symphony), Brian Hecht (Atlanta Symphony), Roger Oyster (Kansas City Philharmonic), Tim Owner and Tim Smith (Buffalo Philharmonic), Peter Steiner (international soloist), Mark Kellog (Eastman). Important Central Florida trombonists have also visited including Harold van Schaik (TFO), Joel Vaisse (TFO, Jeff Thomas (Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra), Joseph Vascik (Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra), Alex Regazzi (Bach Festival).

Graduates will leave with significant exposure to trombone fundamentals and technique. This training will be augmented with experiential learning in solo, chamber, orchestral, band and if you choose so, jazz literature. All of these experiences prepare alumni for entry into professional performing arts organizations or graduate programs.

Luis Fred’s teaching style takes into account that performers require significant experiential learning opportunities. Creating a balance and frequency with these is a must. The trombone studio goal is that our alumni will be players with a technique that is economical and efficient and seasoned in playing multiple styles to meet the challenges of the professional world.

Click here to learn more about the general trombone studio.

In the jazz trumpet studio, students will focus on the instrument (techniques of sound production, embouchure building through long tones, lip slurs, articulation studies and building and maintaining comprehensive trumpet technique), jazz improvisation (techniques of improvisation utilizing the concepts of Barry Harris, learning tunes and the repertoire of jazz music while learning and analyzing the solos of jazz trumpet masters) and the various stylistic concepts of jazz and commercial music, including lead and section trumpet playing.

Jazz trumpet students have opportunities to play in the two big bands and many small ensembles, each performing multiple times per semester on and off campus. Each semester, there are four to five Jazz Studies jam sessions where each class play together their repertoire tunes before the rest of the department and are critiqued. There are several rooms set up for small group playing and we encourage jam sessions of different combinations of students.

Jazz trumpet students study directly with faculty member, Dan Miller, who brings a real-world approach and over thirty years of professional experience to his teaching. Miller has toured the world and recorded with Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, Maynard Ferguson, Woody Herman and Tom Jones and can offer an honest perspective of what is required to not only perform at the highest level, but to have the tools to physically and mentally meet the challenges of the professional world. Miller can also share the wisdom and philosophies of the great teachers he studied with including Bobby Shew, Don Jacoby, John J. Haynie, Ed Treutel, Brad Goode and Barry Harris.

The jazz trumpet studio helps students prepare for the path they choose through a tailored education and will be prepared to play any style of music with conviction and authority while being able to analyze what they are doing technically and be able to share it with future students.

Former students of Dan Miller have gone on to graduate schools such as Indiana University, Berklee School of Music, University of Miami, University of Illinois, University of Louisville, Princeton University, Florida State University, University of North Florida, University of South Florida, University of Central Florida, University of Florida, Stetson University, Florida Internationally University and S.U.N.Y Purchase. Many are now currently working and teaching as professionals all over the country.

Click here to learn more about the general trumpet studio.