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School of Music

  • Swing Shift Ensemble


There are many opportunities to perform in jazz ensembles at University of South Carolina. Jazz ensemble participation is open to all university students by audition, including nonmusic majors.

Do you want to be a better than average musician? Students who take the art form of jazz seriously have the opportunity to join one of our jazz ensembles.

Every semester the big bands and combos give a formal concert and several informal concerts, both on and off campus.

Each year the Left Bank Big Band and the Jazz Combo perform with a guest artist like such luminaries as: Louie Bellson, Steve Houghton, Marion McPartland, Bob Shephard, Steve Kujala, Bill Watrous, Marvin Stamm, Bill Holman, Jim McNeely, Randy Brecker, John Fedchock, Dick Oates, Dave Zoller, Ed Soph, Marcus Roberts Trio, The USC Army Blues Band, Mark O'Connor and Hot Swing, and The Andy LaVerne Trio. Matt White is director of Jazz Studies.

Students participating in jazz ensembles are expected to know the music well enough to play from memory, attend all rehearsals and performances on time and prepared to play your best, and have instruments in working order.

If you need to miss a rehearsal you must send a sub who plays as well or better than you. Problem attendance will result in a lower semester grade.

Interested in participating in a Jazz ensemble?

Email Dr. Matt White to schedule auditions, held in the fall and spring semesters.

male dressed in black suit playing the trumpet with black background

Matt White

Trumpeter, Composer, Educator, and technologist Dr. Matthew White is a curious musician, often blurring the lines between musical styles and conventions. Before entering academia, he was a freelance and session musician in Nashville and Miami. He holds degrees from the University of North Florida and The University of Miami and has appeared on numerous albums.

Woman with medium length dark hari, wearing black and holding drum sticks. Behind her are drums on shelves.

Colleen Clark

Drummer, composer, educator and bandleader, Dr. Colleen Clark is the first drummer and woman to earn a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Jazz Performance at the world-renowned University of North Texas, the oldest jazz institution in America. 

Craig Butterfield playing bass with back background

Craig Butterfield

Craig Butterfield is professor of double bass and jazz studies at the University of South Carolina where he directs one of the largest double bass programs in the Southeast. Comfortable in many styles of music, Butterfield has performed extensively as a jazz artist as well as a classical soloist and clinician.

Lauren Meccia with saxophone

Lauren Meccia

Lauren Meccia is director of jazz bands at the University of South Carolina and UofSC Aiken and instructor of saxophone at UofSC Aiken. She is the founder and director of the CSRA (Central Savannah River Area) New Horizons Band for senior adults in Aiken, SC and assistant director of the Congaree New Horizons Band in Columbia, SC.  

Aletha Jacobs

Aletha Jacobs

Aletha Jacobs is director of Carolina Alive and has performed in every kind of venue, from playing and singing in bands, accompanying musicians and musicals, to performing with orchestras. She has toured the Mediterranean and Central America performing for our troops and has shared the stage with The Shirelles, The Drifters and Freddy Cole, among others.

Bert Ligon

Bert Ligon

Bert Ligon is director of jazz studies. He toured with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra and has performed with Chris Potter, Red Rodney, Randy Brecker, Marion McPartland, Mel Torme, Dianne Schuur and others. He has published three books and several original compositions and arrangements.

Jazz Events

Graduate Jazz Combo

Sunday, Sep. 18, 2022

Location: See Description for Event Location.

Cost: FREE

Jazz Combo I

Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022

Location: See Description for Event Location.

Cost: FREE

UofSC Jazz Combos Recital

Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022

Location: School of Music 206 Recital Hall

Cost: Free

UofSC Left Bank Big Band Concert

Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022

Location: School of Music 206 Recital Hall

Cost: Free

Swing Shift Big Band Concert

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022

Location: School of Music 206 Recital Hall

Cost: FREE

View the Calendar

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.