A student works on a musical composition. Photo credit: William Bradford
Program Type:
  • Major
  • Bachelor of Music (BM)

The jazz composition curriculum closely follows the jazz performance course of study. All jazz composition students study with an applied studies teacher on their principal instrument. Students in the jazz composition program begin the sequence of courses in private composition in their first year and explore a variety of styles and idioms. Jazz composition study culminates with the public presentation of original works for jazz ensembles of various sizes on students’ junior and senior recitals.

Program Director

Bobby Ferrazza

Professor of Jazz Guitar
Division Affiliation

Julie Baker

Administrative Assistant (440) 775-6633
photo of man conducting jazz group
Guest composer/arranger Michael Mossman ’82 directs the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble. Photo credit: Walter Novak

Oberlin Jazz Ensemble

The Oberlin Jazz Ensemble features jazz as well as classical performance majors. The group performs in Finney Chapel during the academic year and appears at college festivals throughout the United States. The jazz ensemble presents standard repertoire and new works including pieces by student composers. Recent guest solo artists include Etienne Charles, Nicholas Payton, Michael Mossman, Rufus Reid, John and Gerald Clayton, and Eddie Henderson.

Sample Courses

  • JAZZ 120: Jazz Theory 4 credits
  • JAZZ 130 - Basic Arranging/Composition Techniques 2 credits
  • JAZZ 290 - Introduction to African American Music 4 credits
  • COMP 201 - Composition Class I 4 credits

Jazz Composition News

poster announcing listening party

Spin Session at the Birenbaum

October 5, 2017
The William and Helen Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space will come alive each month with an evening of music selected by a campus personality. The first ConFab Listening Party at the Birenbaum will feature Jamey Haddad, professor of advanced improvisation and percussion.