The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble I is recognized as one of the premiere jazz ensembles in the United States.
Located within some of the most beautiful north woods scenery in the United States, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire sits on the banks of the Chippewa River and is touted as "Wisconsin's Most Beautiful Campus."
The all undergraduate Department of Music and Theatre Arts is Wisconsin's largest with three-hundred plus majors working toward bachelor degrees in music education, music therapy, performance, theory/composition, music history and conducting. The music department possesses the largest musical technology lab in the state of Wisconsin which is easily accessible to students. Money Magazine's College Guide identified UW-Eau Claire and specifically the Department of Music and Theatre Arts to be "worth a special look."
The UW-Eau Claire Jazz Studies Area has a vibrant environment with five big bands and 20 combos. Classes are offered in jazz history, jazz improvisation, jazz arranging and jazz pedagogy.
Down Beat Award Winner for "Best College Big Band"
The Jazz Studies Area has received the Down Beat Magazine "Best College Big Band" Award six times, along with many individual awards (see Accolades). Jazz Ensemble I has recorded a CD each year for the past decade with two nominated for a Grammy Award: "Jazz in Clear Water--Harpoon" and "Jazz in Clear Water--Things to Come."
UW-Eau Claire sustains one of the nations oldest and largest jazz festivals.
Being in close proximity to the Twin Cities enables UW-Eau Claire students to hear world class performers and participate in many professional engagements. This location also enables us to host many nationally known jazz artists in conjunction with their travels to the Twin Cities. The jazz ensembles tour nationally and regionally and have performed for:
- KBEM Jazz Festival - Twin Cities (Jazz Ensembles I, II and III)
- International Midwest Band Director's Conference (Jazz Ensemble I)
- Illinois State Music Educators Conference (Jazz Ensemble I)
- New York Brass Conference (Jazz Ensemble I)
- MENC National Conference (Jazz Ensemble I)
- MENC Midwest Regional Conference (Jazz Ensemble I)
- Wisconsin Music Educators State Conference (Jazz Ensemble II)
- Minnesota State Music Conference (Jazz Ensemble I)
- UW-Eau Claire Jazz Festival (Jazz Ensembles I, II, III, IV, and V)
These experiences would not be possible without the tremendous musicianship students learn from the orchestra, bands and many choirs and the fundamental philosophy of the jazz studies area, that our students are fundamentally classically trained musicians who interpret the jazz style. At UW-Eau Claire students receive a solid foundation of classical training imperative to ones ability to express him/herself in all genres of music.
Have fun browsing our web site. You can listen to some CD excerpts, keep up on the weekly news of student activities, learn about auditions, or find out when and where ensembles are performing.
If you are ever in the area, we welcome you for a visit.
All the best,
Director of Jazz Studies
250 Haas Fine Arts
Eau Claire, WI 54702