Southeastern Music Academy Ensemble Descriptions

Large Ensembles

The Louis Smith Jazz Orchestra (L.S.J.O.) is designed for our most experienced and advanced musicians. Appropriately named after world renown trumpeter and educator Louis Smith, this ensemble focuses on highly advanced repertoire requiring an advanced understanding of ensemble techniques, improvisational skills and styles. The L.S.J.O. performs at premier jazz venues as well as local/regional/national jazz festivals.

S.M.A Jazz Ensemble 1 is designed for intermediate to advanced musicians. Students will gain an advanced understanding of ensemble techniques, improvisation, various styles and much more. Repertoire will be chosen from early jazz composers all the way to modern jazz composers and arrangers. Students will perform at the Fireside Jazz Series, local venues, festivals etc.

S.M.A Jazz Ensemble 2 is dedicated to establishing a solid musical foundation for young aspiring musicians. Students will gain an understanding of scales, improvisation, beginning ensemble and instrument techniques and much more in a FUN EXCITING atmosphere!!!!!! Musicians will perform repertoire from composers such as Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Count Basie among others. Performance opportunities will include the Fireside Jazz Series as well as other local jazz venues.

S.M.A Progressive Jazz Ensemble (Intermediate to Advanced) is created to celebrate the jazz fusion era of the 1970’s. This ensemble is unique in that it does not require traditional jazz instrumentation. ALL instruments are welcome as the arrangements for this group are created to fit this particular ensemble. Repertoire will cover a variety of composers from the fusion era. Performances will include the Fireside Jazz Series as well as local jazz venues.

S.M.A Combo Program (Small Ensembles) is created to coincide with the curriculum of the large ensembles. In short, students will have the opportunity to apply the ideas (concepts) or skills that they acquired in the large ensembles in a smaller ensemble setting. Musicians will have the opportunity to study and perform the music of artist such as Duke Ellington, Wayne Shorter, Julian “Cannonball” Adderly and many more!!!!

As part of our vision, all ensembles will receive instruction and perform with many of the greatest jazz musicians in the world!!!

Studio Classes

(Scheduled throughout each concert cycle)

Ensemble Studio Class – Students will have the opportunity to apply the concepts and ideas of which they’ve gained through performance. All Ensembles will perform and receive comments from fellow students, faculty and other area educators. The Ensemble Studio Class will take place periodically through the season.

Instrumental Studio Class – Students will be organized by instrument and will have the opportunity to focus on fundamentals such as scales, fingerings, styles, etc. These sessions will be led by the faculty as well as clinicians from the area.

Performances – Each ensemble will have three concerts throughout the school year.  Performance schedules are organized into rehearsal cycles. Each cycle has it’s own objectives and goals for the students to attain. The information taught from each cycle is comprehensive.

Clinicians/Guest Artist

Guest artist and performers will appear periodically throughout the year. As stated earlier, each ensemble will perform with a guest artist in at least one of their concerts. Other clinicians will range from college professors to touring musicians. Subjects will include college auditions and applications, how to be a successful performer and educator, etc.