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Jazz Ensembles

Student jazz musicians - photo collage

Big Bands • Jazz Combos • Commercial Ensembles

The Jazz Studies area provides performance opportunities in three big bands, six combos, a commercial music show band and Gospel and Spiritual choir. The jazz faculty are devoted to rehearsing, arranging and performing all styles of literature. Participation in Ohio State Jazz Ensembles and applied instruction are open to both music majors and non-majors, All are welcome!

Autumn Semester

  • Auditions are required for participation in any big band, combo, the Show Band and for applied instruction.
  • Auditions are held during the first week of Autumn semester. Details will be posted in midsummer.

Spring Semester

  • If you would like to join a jazz ensemble for Spring semester, email Mike Smith, coordinator of Jazz Studies.

Big Bands

Offered Autumn and Spring semesters.

  • University Jazz Ensemble (Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:50–3:55)
  • Jazz Lab Big Band (Tuesdays and Thursdays 1:50–3:55)
  • Jazz Workshop Big Band (Mondays and Wednesdays 1:50–3:55)


  • Art Blakey (Wednesdays 6:30–8:10)
  • Fusion (Thursdays 6:30–8:10)
  • Hard Bop (Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:10–5:05)
  • Bebop (Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:10–5:05)
  • Latin Jazz (Mondays 4:10–6:15)
  • Organ Jazz (Wednesdays 4:10–6:15)

Please consult Class Search to confirm course meeting times and locations.

Questions? Email Mike Smith, coordinator of Jazz Studies. 

The Ohio State Show Band

Offered Autumn and Spring semesters.

The Ohio State Show Band is a contemporary music ensemble that performs tour-quality shows with musical styles from R&B, gospel, and pop to neo-soul, contemporary Christian and fusion, while incorporating vocalists, automated lighting, production sequences, dance, video sync and the latest computer-based production software. Class meets Mondays 6:30–8:45 p.m. 

  • Want to join the band? Vocalists and instrumentalists (trumpet, alto sax, tenor sax, trombone, guitar, piano, drums), please contact Professor Shawn Wallace.

Gospel Choir

Offered Autumn and Spring semesters.

Gospel Choir is a non-auditioned group for students of all majors who enjoy or are curious about singing gospel music. Singers develop skills within the framework of a strong aural tradition and explore techniques of improvisation as well. The group rehearses a wide variety of gospel literature and performs for the Columbus community at least once per semester.

Learning and performing gospel music is not only fun and motivating, but also a great way to make new friends through this diverse music experience. Gospel music is very popular and is performed in many communities across the globe. The ensemble is designed as a comprehensive standard-based vocal music curriculum that provides students with experiences in music and religious settings derived from the African American religious experience.

There is no need to be an advanced singer to be a member. If you are a musician (piano, bass, guitar, drums, etc.) consider joining as a member who can accompany the choir. 

Music majors may participate in this group for Small Ensemble credit only, and music education majors are especially encouraged to do so. 

Undergraduate: MUSIC 2208.16 | Graduate: MUSIC 7208.16
Classes meet Tue/Thu 5:206:15 p.m. | Milton V. Ruffin, director

  • Please consult Class Search to confirm course meeting times and locations.