FSYO Announces New Jazz Orchestra
ORLANDO, FL - For 60 years, Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra has been the home for Central Florida students in search of classical music training and education. This fall, FSYO will become the home to a new group of budding musicians with the introduction of its new Jazz Orchestra - a one of a kind offering in the Central Florida community. The FSYO Jazz Orchestra will be led by Jeff Rupert - Director of Jazz at UCF, saxophonist, composer, record producer, and recording artist.
"It is very important for our organization to stay current. FSYO has considered adding a jazz ensemble for a while and, when we noticed the trend taking off with many other eminent Youth Orchestras, we knew it was the right time to join in," said Hanrich Claassen, FSYO Music Director and Symphonic Conductor. "Through our jazz orchestra, we hope to serve a wider community and also broaden our horizons and offerings to the audiences in Central Florida. It's a great honor that internationally acclaimed guru and jazz specialist Jeff Rupert has joined our FSYO Family. He's not only a fabulous performer and grammy award recording artist, he has what it takes to be a passionate educator. Welcome, Jeff!"
This 17-20 piece ensemble will focus on the study of big band jazz music. Featuring middle and high school-age musicians, FSYO's Jazz Orchestra will perform big band staples as well as works by contemporary artists. Students will learn the theory behind jazz composition and improvisation and will have the opportunity to do sectional work with some of the area's top jazz musicians. Rehearsals will take place at The Plaza Live on Sunday afternoons.
Jazz Orchestra auditions will be held in May 2017 and applications are available now. For information on auditions, please visit http://www.fsyo.org/auditions2/jazz-orchestra.
About FSYO: The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra aims to educate and inspire Central Florida's top young musicians through programs committed to strengthening musical talents and developing an appreciation of the arts through classical music. The FSYO, in its 60th Concert Season, comprises three full orchestras, one string training orchestra, and an advanced chamber ensemble, made up of more than 250 students from nine Central Florida counties, including Orange, Osceola, Lee, Seminole, Brevard, Lake, Highlands and Volusia. Programs are sponsored in part by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs; the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Orlando Utilities Commission; and United Arts of Central Florida. We thank these groups for their generous support.
About Jeff Rupert: Jeff Rupert is Pegasus Professor and Director of Jazz Studies at UCF. He is a saxophonist, composer, record producer, and recording artist.
Rupert has been a featured soloist on dozens of recordings with artists including Maynard Ferguson, Sam Rivers, Mel Tormé, Diane Schuur and Benny Carter. He played on Carter's Harlem Renaissance which won a Grammy. He played and arranged for the New Jersey-based Blues band The Fins. He has also performed with Kevin Mahogany, Ernestine Anderson, Joe Farnsworth, Ray Drummond, Harry Allen, pianist Benny Green, Kenny Drew jr, trumpeter Michael Philip Mossman, and pianist and singer Judy Carmichael.
Rupert currently is the leader of The Jazz Professors, a sextet which had top JazzWeek charting hit albums in 2012 and 2013. "The Jazz Professors: Live at the UCF-Orlando Jazz Festival" (Flying Horse, 2011) which and peaked at #19 during its seventeen weeks on the JazzWeek charts. His third album, "From Memphis to Mobile", with Kenny Drew, Jr.
Rupert joined Sam Rivers' band in 1996 and appeared in four recordings with the group. He has performed in hundreds of concerts with Rivers, including performances at Lincoln for Ed Bradley's Jazz from Lincoln Center (broadcast on NPR), the Vision Festival NYC and Columbia University. He has been a member of the Jaguar International Jazz Series alongside Joe LaBarbera, Tom Wharington, Larry Koonse, and John Fedchock.