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Commercial Music and Jazz

The Commercial Music and Jazz concentration offers a number of courses, ensembles, and professional experiences designed to give students the most contemporary knowledge and skills necessary to become successful performers, recording engineers, composers/songwriters, and entrepreneurs. This includes courses in improvisation, commercial arranging, commercial styles, recording technology and Careers in Music. Commercial Music and Jazz faculty are unique in that they teach in a variety of musical contexts/styles and each are active professionally in their fields. Students can expect a variety of large and small ensemble experiences, covering a wide array of genres and numerous live and studio performance opportunities.

Sample Four Year Plan

Jazz Ensembles

The CCU Jazz Ensemble and New Jazz Ensemble feature traditional big band instrumentation and vocalists, covering everything from early jazz to Stan Kenton, Radiohead, heavy metal, and contemporary jazz. The CCU Jazz Ensemble, the commercial music and jazz areas flagship group, has premiered works with harmonica virtuoso Howard Levy, Jeff Coffin, and artist-in-residence Steve Bailey. 

Combos

Combos and Chamber Groups within the MCJ area focus on specific styles on a semester-to-semester basis, including: Funk-Fusion, Latin, Hard Bop, and Contemporary R&B, working extensively with an individual faculty coach. Each group has extensive opportunities to perform in public and record in the Wheelwright Recording studio. The CCU Jazz Combo 1, directed by Dr. Matthew White and Artist-in-Residence Steve Bailey, has worked with a number of guest artists, including: The Dave Douglas Quintet, Victor Wooten, Derico Watson, and Jeff Coffin. The group plays professional gigs extensively in the Grand Strand Area, has recorded albums with national distribution, and performed at the 2016 Montreux, Vienne, and Umbria Jazz Festivals in Europe. In 2016 the ensemble won a downbeat student music award in the Undergraduate Pop/Blues category. 

Wheelwright Recording Studio

The Wheelwright Recording Studio is a state-of-the-art facility, featuring the most up-to-date hardware and software (Pro Tools) for digital music recording, editing, mixing, and mastering. The Studio features a main room and 5 remote recording spaces and has a direct connection to the Wheelwright Auditorium for documenting live events. The studio can record up to 32 live tracks in high-definition file formats and features industry standard microphones, preamps, and virtual plug-ins. 

 The studio documents over 100 events a year and includes a student staff of outstanding individuals who have completed the Recording Technology Course Sequence. The Studio has released recordings with National Distribution for Dave Douglas and the Athenaeum Press. 

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