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Jazz Minor

Performance Opportunities

For those students who are interested in Jazz studies and performance at the college level, Roberts offers performance opportunities in the Roberts Jazz Ensemble, small jazz combos, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, and solo jazz vocals. The Roberts Jazz Ensemble performs one major concert each semester, in addition to several off-campus performances. Jazz combos perform several times each semester, at music seminars, social events, and the highly popular “Jazz and Dessert” concert held on a Friday and Saturday evening each semester. The jazz vocalists are also featured at “Jazz and Dessert.” “The Great American Songbook” recital is held each semester and features the jazz vocalists in performance with top professional jazz musicians from the Rochester area.  The Vocal Jazz Ensemble performs on several majors concerts each year. 

Courses in Jazz Minor

  • MUS 101          Theory I                         
  • MUS 101a         Aural Skills I    
  • MUS 102          Theory II          
  • MUS 102a         Aural Skills II                
  • MUS 120          Jazz History                   
  • MUS 300          Jazz Arranging and Composing 
  • MUS 330          Jazz Theory and Improvisation
  • MUS 1021        Jazz Improvisation       
  • MUS 264          Jazz Ensemble         
  • MUS 266          Jazz Combo

About the Jazz Faculty

Mike Van Allen, piano, bass, vocal jazz.  His principal teacher at NYU was Grammy winning arranger and composer Jim McNeely, pianist for the world renowned Village Vanguard Orchestra.  Other teachers that Mike worked with at NYU include such jazz greats as pianists Mike Holober, Don Friedman, Ted Rosenthal, Michael Weiss, and Pete Malinverni, bassists Ron McClure and Mike Richmond, and saxophonists Ralph LaLamma and Jon Gunther.  He formed his own jazz quintet which recorded an album in 2001 and was performed live on Rochester’s jazz radio station, 90.1fm.  During this time Mike also began directing and arranging for a cappella groups, winning national awards for best arrangement of a song in 2002 and runner-up for best collegiate arranged album in 1999, the Binghamton Crosbys’ “Super Bo’s”.   Mike performs frequently, playing both piano and/or bass with such groups as the Rodger Eckers quartet, the Brad Batz group, Fishbone Soup, and a jazz fusion project.