About the Scorpion Jazz Ensemble

The Scorpion Jazz Ensemble performs the highest caliber literature available including many modern works along with standard big-band literature.  The performing aspect of the ensemble exposes students to literature of the big band genre, and teaches the performance practices that the diverse styles and influences of the music demands.  There will be many performance opportunities including possible community outreach performances, a district jazz tour and participation in at least two jazz festivals.  

The other primary focus for the class is improvisation.  Improvisation is the heart of any definition of jazz, and it will be heavily emphasized.  Multiple instructional strategies including (but not limited to): transcriptions, weekly or bi-weekly listening assignments, keyboarding assignments, lecture and class combo/large group improvisation will be utilized regularly.  An intensive study of improvisation and participation in small combos is expected for all members of this ensemble.

Because of the duel focus in Jazz Ensemble, there is very little time to focus on fundamental playing.  For this reason, it is highly recommended that students are concurrently enrolled in Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Orchestra or Percussion Class with the exception of guitar, bass and piano players.  

Students must get director approval for a spot in the ensemble, and the instrumentation of the group will be kept to a standard big band including: 2 alto saxophones, 2 tenor saxophones, 1 baritone saxophone, 3 tenor trombones, 1 bass trombone, 5 trumpets, 2 drumset, 1 percussion, 2 string bass, 1 piano, 1 guitar.  Preference will be given to saxophonists who can double on another instrument (e.g. flute, clarinet). 

Taking private lessons is HIGHLY ENCOURAGED for all members of the Scorpion Jazz Ensemble.  Click here for teacher recommendations.


CLICK HERE to access audition materials for the 2020 All-State Jazz Band on the C.B.A. website!  Just click on your instrument to download the file.