Learning a new aspect of your craft can be both exciting and challenging, but when your craft is arranging music for orchestral performances, the challenge of getting 30 musicians together to practice is a little daunting.
But that’s why the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute (JCOI) exists — to give talented professionals from different backgrounds and career stages the chance to learn a new aspect of orchestration in a hands-on, workshop environment.
This year the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music is hosting the second JCOI from August 7-11. The institute will provide 38 talented jazz and improvisational composers with the teaching and resources to explore how they can adapt their unique styles to a symphony orchestra.
The JCOI is the result of a partnership between the American Composers Orchestra and the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University. The two groups hope this program will promote the emergence of composers trained in both jazz and new orchestral techniques.
Paul Chihara and James Newton
The institute will culminate on August 11 at 8 p.m. with a public concert in Schoenberg Hall. The participants, who range in age from 18 to 66 and come from all over the country, will work with professional composers, conductors and performers, including UCLA faculty members Paul Chihara, professor of theory and composition and head of the Visual Media Program at the Herb Alpert School, and James Newton, professor of ethnomusicology.
In addition to the tailored curriculum of workshops and seminars on topics including score preparation and compositional techniques, participants will also see live demonstrations of instrumental techniques from wild Up, the institute’s ensemble in residence.
Wild Up is a 24-member experimental ensemble that is based in L.A. and led by Christopher Rountree. The August 11 concert in Schoenberg Hall will feature performances by wild Up of music by some of the institute’s mentor composers.
Tickets to the concert are $5 for UCLA staff, faculty and students, and $12 for general admission. They can be purchased online
or at the UCLA Central Ticket Office.