MU Jazz Bands

Millersville University Jazz Bands


Prof. Ryan Kauffman, Director Dr. Joe Cernuto, Director 


The MU JAZZ ENSEMBLE is comprised of 18-20 players based on a "big band" instrumentation. Members are chosen by audition each fall. The MUJE performs both on and off-campus each semester featuring a repertoire that includes classic swing, jazz standards, and contemporary fusion styles. Guest artists have included Byron Stripling, Ernie Watts, John Fedchock, Larry McWilliams, Dean Sorenson, Ronald Carter, Sharrie Maricle, Chris Vadala, Dan Tepfer, Dave Sharp, Russ Peterson, Paul Haar, Pete McGuinness, Amy Banks, and Camille Thurman. Maintaining an active performance schedule, the MUJE has appeared in concerts sponsored by the Central Pennsylvania Friends of Jazz, the Villanova University Jazz Festival, and the Les Brown Jazz Festival. Each year, the MUJE hosts Jazz Fest De 'Ville, which is a non-competitive invitational workshop for high school and middle school jazz bands. The Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Sextet performed at the Crescent City Jazz Festival in New Orleans in March 2018. Academic credit is available to all students.    

Rehearsals: Fall Semester: Tuesday & Thursday, 7:00-9:30 pm; WVPAC 100. Spring Semester: 7:00-10:00 pm; WVPAC 100.

The MU JAZZ LAB BAND is an ensemble of flexible instrumentation (woodwinds, brasses, strings, piano, bass, drums, guitar) that accommodates a wide range of student experience levels.  No previous jazz experience is required, but students are asked to audition individually during the first two rehearsals to determine ability and part assignment. Less experienced musicians develop reading and interpretation skills while more advanced players are given a considerable opportunity to further develop their improvisational abilities. Varied performance opportunities are available and academic credit is available for all students.

Rehearsals: Fall Semester Only: Monday & Wednesday, 6:00-7:30 pm; WVPAC 100.


Auditions typically take place during the first week of classes. More information regarding the Jazz Ensemble audition dates will be released when available.

Audition Materials

  • Saxophones, Trumpet, Trombone, Guitar, Vibraphone, Piano, and Bass Guitar


    Play the etude as written. Guitarists, pianists, and bassists should play the first three choruses as written, followed by comping the last two. Click on your instrument below to download the etude.


    Improvise a one-to-two chorus solo on a blues in concert F. See below for a lead sheet and backing track.

    ALL INSTRUMENTS will sight-read a short excerpt.

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  • Drumset

    Drummers will demonstrate a few bars of the following styles:

    • Swing with brushes
    • Bright Swing
    • Jazz Waltz
    • Funk
    • Bossa Nova
    • Samba
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  • Vocalists

    Vocalists must perform two contrasting selections, e.g. — a swinging number + a ballad. Please provide your own accompanist or backing track.

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The MU Jazz Ensemble, directed by Professor Ryan Kauffman.