St. Mary's University Music Department, Winona, Minnesota

Jazz Ensembles

Jazz has played an integral role at Saint Mary's since the mid-1950's when the locally famous big band known as the Marynotes was formed by students. Today, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Workshop Combos and Jazz Combo I are a regular part of the curriculum.

Jazz concerts are presented each semester both on and off campus featuring noted professional jazz artists working directly with the students. Noted jazz greats who have worked with SMU students include: The Charles Mingus Big Band, Dave Liebman, Ernie Watts, Bill Watrous, Garry Dial, Dick Oatts, Steve Slagle, Art Lande, Paul McCandless, Anat Cohen, Eddie Allen, Marc Bernstein, and Dean Sorenson.

The SMU Jazz Ensemble or big band, performs charts from various periods of jazz history with an emphasis on arrangements of works that have become standards in the jazz repertoire. Works by contemporary jazz composers are also included in our performances and students are encouraged to develop improvisational skills in this group as well as in combos. The group rehearses twice week and one credit may be earned for participation. In addition to music majors, the Jazz Ensemble attracts a wide range of students from general studies representing many diverse academic programs at Saint Mary's University.

For more information on Jazz at SMU, please contact A. Eric Heukeshoven, Director of Jazz Studies ( - 507-457-7292