Jazz Performance & Music Technology
Bachelor of Music in Jazz Performance
Bachelor of Music in Jazz/Music Technology
The Jazz Studies program is based around the small group performing experience for vocal and instrumental jazz majors (piano, guitar, bass, drums, trumpet, trombone and woodwinds).
Jazz students participate in jazz combos, Jazz Collective or Jazz Singers. In addition to core music classes, jazz students study improvisation, jazz theory, scoring and arranging, jazz pedagogy and history. The Jazz/Music Technology program includes what is essentially a minor in audio production, film scoring, MIDI techniques, studio recording and related courses.
Students work directly with a faculty mentor on final projects. Paul DeMarinis, director of jazz studies, is an internationally known saxophonist and composer. Steve Schenkel supervises the music technology program and teaches jazz improv and jazz theory. Other faculty includes an impressive roster of artist-teachers who remain active in performance pursuits.
Says Dr. Schenkel, "If you have an interest in being a highly skilled jazz player or an expert in music technology (or both!), then Webster is a great place to be. Our entire program is based around small group playing, so all of our students have an opportunity to shine as individuals. Our audio recording and midi programs will immerse you in the latest technology under the guidance of world-class faculty."
Special Study Opportunities
Jazz students benefit from Webster's strong cooperation with Jazz St. Louis. The world-class Dennis Owsley Jazz Recording Collection is housed in Emerson Library.
Student musicians get to hone their skills in Vienna, home to legendary composers Beethoven, Mozart and Strauss where Webster has had a campus since 1981. Students usually attend the Vienna campus in the junior year spring semester, where they study jazz with a Viennese artist, take courses in music history - especially relating to Vienna's traditions, and experience the vibrancy of Europe's musical capital.
Connect with Webster
- View the full faculty roster
- Email Paul DeMarinis, Jazz Performance program head
- Email Steve Schenkel, Jazz/Music Technology program head
- View a 2014 television broadcast featuring Webster's jazz program
- Check out Jazz St. Louis
Department of Music News
"My experience at Webster was one I can truly say shaped the person I have become. The Department of Music, with the rest of the school, is overflowing with a talent pool of staff and students that constantly kept me pushing and challenging myself. Webster's diverse environment forced me to become a more open-minded, well-rounded individual."
- Krystal Schieffer, BME '11
"From the second I stepped onto Webster's campus, I have felt at home, like part of a family. The Department of Music shares a solid bond because of its size and the cozy feel of Thompson House; but even as the Department expands, there is still the fundamental sincerity of people who care about each other. Creative people could not be more different, and my time at Webster has showed me that these differences are sometimes what unites us the most. Across the spectrum of disciplines, whether you're a composer, jazz pianist, vocalist, violinist, teacher, ad infinitum, Webster provides a support system that you don't find at other schools. There is no cut-throat environment here; everyone is encouraged to grow as an artist and musician in a manner that promotes confidence, inspiration, and success."
- Samantha Schmid, BA '11
"Webster University made me excited to go back to school for my master's degree. The professors, my advisor, and the staff were very helpful and flexible; they worked with my schedule as a working graduate student. They allowed me to basically get a "Beth degree," within my requirements. This knowledge was immediately applicable to my current job. When I look back now I am so pleased that I got to study with professors that are such talented, intelligent, professional and accomplished musicians. Webster was exactly what I needed and wanted."
- Beth Enloe Fritz, MA '05
"I thought Webster was perfect for my undergrad as it gave me the attention I needed. I never worried about getting lost in a sea of faces, and I wound up with excellent tools for graduate school. The low-stress environment also made it easier for me to learn my way around the stage as I was able to openly experiment with new ideas. Furthermore, Webster, unlike other smaller universities, gave me the opportunity to work with some important figures in opera, like Christine Brewer. Webster is definitely the way to go."
- Maddy Pessin, BM '11
"The staff, students, ensembles, and facilities are all dedicated to making music better and understanding it more fully. I appreciate knowing every time I walk into a classroom in Thompson Music Building this is the goal. Webster was a wonderful fit for me."
- Gabriel Maichel, BME '13
"Webster was truly an amazing experience. I loved every bit of it."
- Kayla Wong, BA '13
"So many faculty members are personable, kind and warm. And that's awesome!"
- Caroline Camp Corrales, BM '14
"I came to Webster because I wanted to be a better songwriter, and I've accomplished that."
- Tim Walther, BM '14
Seniors 2015May 2015
The Department of Music captured a few moments with our 2015 graduating seniors to find out what they will miss, what they will share, and what makes Webster their home.
Connor ScottMarch 2016
Music education major Connor Scott wins a conducting competition, and talks about his time at Webster University.
Ready for successSpring 2016
Chris Poetz (BM '16) talks about how the faculty have helped him be ready for film school.
Chamber SingersMarch 2014
Chamber Singers perform at the 2014 divisional convention of the American Choral Directors Association.
Music EducationSpring 2015
Christy Timberlake is featured in an introduction to Music Education at Webster University.
Bob ChamberlinMay 2015
Bob Chamberlin sat down with the department of music to give us a glimpse inside his 42 year history with the university and share some memories and advice with students and his colleagues as he moves into the next phase of his life.
Webster University OrchestraFall 2016
Dr. Paul Davis leads the Webster Symphony Orchestra in the year-opening concert, September 2016.
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