Small jazz ensembles
Small jazz ensembles, coached by Jazz Studies and Improvisation department faculty, perform traditional and contemporary instrumental and vocal jazz repertoire. Ensembles are coached by faculty members Jerry Bergonzi, Frank Carlberg, Dominique Eade, Cecil McBee, John McNeil, Jason Moran, Bob Moses, Ken Schaphorst, and others. The ensembles perform two or more times a year in the Pierce Hall Jazz Series.
NEC Jazz Orchestra
The NEC Jazz Orchestra performs classic and contemporary big band music under the direction of Ken Schaphorst as well as other faculty and guest artists. In the past these have included such prominent musicians as Maria Schneider, Sam Rivers, Muhal Richard Abrams, John Lewis, Dizzy Gillespie, Gunther Schuller, Gil Evans, Gerald Wilson, Randy Weston, and Django Bates. The band is open to all NEC students by audition.
NEC Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra
The NEC Jazz Composers’ Workshop Orchestra is devoted to rehearsing and performing works by NEC Jazz Composition students. The ensemble is coached by Frank Carlberg and gives the composers the opportunity to learn how to rehearse and conduct a band, as well as have their works heard.
NEC Gospel Ensemble
The NEC Gospel Ensemble, coached by Nedelka Prescod, explores contemporary gospel music as it is currently being created and performed. This ensemble works with repertoire composed within the last 20 years of contemporary gospel music and highlights key composers and choir leaders. Vocalists have opportunities to learn and work with traditional and more current forms of vocal harmony, call and response/hymn lining, and improvisation, as utilized in modern African-American churches. Instrumentalists have great opportunities to arrange as an independent entity and work with re-harmonization as well as work with the subtleties of a small vocal ensemble. All music is taught/learned through oral tradition with a focus on the importance and role of music in African-American social and spiritual settings.
Photos by Andrerw Hurlbut