Southeast Missouri State University

Jazz at Southeast Missouri State University has been active for more than 20 years and consists of both big-band and combo-performance opportunities. Classes also are available in jazz improvisation as well as independent study in jazz theory and history. Southeast has two jazz ensembles, which include both music majors and non-majors. Auditions for membership in Southeast jazz ensembles take place during the first week of classes in the fall semester.

We invite you to join our Jazz Series by donating to our support organization Jazz Friends, featuring three great concerts at the fabulous Bedell Performance Hall.   Just print the application form below and mail your donation to the address indicated.

Download Jazz Friends info packet

Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Fall Jazz Concert - “Blues, Basie and Beyond!”

Join the young men and women in the Southeast jazz ensembles who will perform in one of the most exciting concerts of the semester. We will play the blues, a traditional American art form which will be transformed by our big band instruments into an exciting adventure into the emotional realm. Count Basie's music is considered by many to be the basis for the swinging big band experience which we will also bring to your ears that evening. All this and more in our first middle of the week concert which will bring a fire to your soul! Come out to the fabulous Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus and enjoy jazz with us!

Friday, February 6, 2015
Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival Gala Concert
Michael Dease, trombone soloist

We invite you to heat up this winter night with an evening of jazz at the annual Clark Terry/Phi Mu Alpha Gala Jazz Festival concert in the exquisite Bedell Performance Hall on the River Campus at Southeast Missouri State University. Both of our outstanding jazz ensembles will be featured as well as our outstanding guest artist, Michael Dease.

Michael Dease is a Grammy award-winning trombonist, and has played with many of today’s foremost jazz orchestras, including those led by Wynton Marsalis, Christian McBride, Roy Hargrove, Nicholas Payton, Charles Tolliver and Rufus Reid. He teaches jazz trombone full time at Michigan State University.

Thursday, April 30, 2015
Spring Jazz Concert - “Let’s Swing!!”

Our final concert of the year will prove to be one of the most exciting! Our talented young musicians will show their remarkable musical dexterity with soloists, jazz vocalists, and much more. Southeast’s two big bands will present a wide range of styles and moods. The perfect way to end your day is to get your toes tapping with the snappy sounds of jazz! We’ll see you there!

Call the Southeast Box Office (651-2265) for more information!

The Jazz Program at Southeast

The Southeast jazz program is under the direction of Robert Conger, whose past experience includes membership in the famed One O’ Clock band at North Texas State University.  Our two big bands, Studio Jazz and Jazz Lab,  perform a wide array of contemporary and standard big-band literature in a variety of styles.  The combos and big bands perform on and off campus three to four times per semester.  Our students have performed with guest artists such as Reggie Thomas, Brad Leali, Tony Baker, Clark Terry, Mike Metheny, Joe Eckert, Jim Manley, Allen Beeson, Jim Pisano, Daniel Jordan, Pat Schwent, Rodney Lancaster, Mark Zauss, Clint Ashlock, Carol Comer, Arch Martin, Wayne Goins and Jim Widner.

The bands perform at various University events such as the popular ‘Clark Terry / Phi Mu Alpha Jazz Festival’ presented each February as well at least twice per semester at the Buckner Brewing Company, a very intimate downtown pub in Cape Girardeau.  Our Studio Jazz Ensemble recently traveled to Scotland during August of 2008 to participate in the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival.   

We have two big bands, Studio Jazz and the Jazz Lab Band. Students who are interested in auditioning for Studio Jazz should have prior experience in a jazz program, woodwind doubling skills (saxes only) and solo experience. The Jazz Lab Band is open to all students (no audition required) with an interest in improving their skills in big band jazz and improvisation. Improvisation skills are developed in this ensemble, although they are not required as a pre-requisite. Jazz Combos are groups of jazz student musicians committed to the performance of small-group jazz improvisation. These groups perform at various University and community social events throughout the academic year.

Contact Information

Dr. Robert B. Conger
Jazz Studies Director
Phone: (573) 651-2398
Fax: (573) 651-2431
E-mail: rconger@semo.edu

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