Jazz Institute At The Conservatory
Intermediate & Advanced Music Programs
The Jazz Institute is one of the longest running jazz education programs in the United States. Our faculty members are premiere jazz artists, as well as dedicated and accomplished educators with the expertise to work with students of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels.
Middle school, high school, and adult musicians can gain experience by playing in small ensembles. Students will meet weekly and receive regular coaching by a Jazz Institute faculty member.
Open To The Community By Audition
Honors Jazz Program
The Jazz Honors program, part of the Conservatory’s Jazz Institute, is a comprehensive, year-round experience for high school students by audition only. Students have the opportunity to work with visiting guest artists and to perform in the community. Jazz Honors Program auditions for the 2020-21 academic year will take place in the 2020 Spring Semester. For more information call student services at (414) 276.5760 or fill out our contact form.
- Entry Level | Open to woodwind, brass, percussion, bass, guitar, and piano students currently in grades 8-11 (high school students in 2019-20).
- Evaluation | Judged based on: improvisation, accuracy, rhythm, time, technique, stylistic awareness, and harmonic skills. All judges’ decisions are final.
- Day of Audition | Judges reserve the right to ask students to skip sections of selections for the sake of time. Recorded or live accompaniment is permitted but not provided. A CD player and mini plug input for playing recorded accompaniment will be provided. Students will provide judges copies of lead sheets for audition selections.
Honors Jazz Audition Requirements
One jazz standard: play the head (melody) followed by two choruses of improvisation
Improvise two choruses on a blues progression
Bass Players: In addition to the requirements above, walk a bass line for one chorus on each selection
Pianists and Guitarists: in addition to the requirements above, comp for on chorus on each selection
Demonstrate each of the following styles on the drum set:
Jazz/Swing (slow, medium, and up tempo)
Brushes (ballad and medium tempo)
Trading fours (alternate four measures of time with four measures of soloing)
Latin: select one or more of the following: Bossa Nova, Samba, Mambo
Jazz Institute Faculty
Meet Our Teachers
- Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Voice Performance | Roosevelt University (Chicago Musical College)
- Graduate Level Vocal Training | University of Iowa
- Joined the Vocal Arts faculty at the Conservatory in 2017.
- Cross-genre singer that is classically trained, jazz influenced, and soul inspired.
- Has taught private voice to students of all levels for thirty years, which includes more than a decade in New York.
- As a classical singer, Marcya began her career as a soprano and has sung with Lincoln Opera Chicago, the Lyric Theater of Illinois and the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee.
- Has gradually transitioned from singing classical music exclusively to performing an eclectic repertoire of music.
- Marcya has performed alongside a diverse group of critically acclaimed artists such as Simon Estes, Wycliffe Gordon, BeBe Winans, Vanessa Williams, Laurel Masse and Gerald Levert.
- Berklee College of Music
- WCM faculty member since 2005.
- Moved back to his roots in Milwaukee, after 10 years of living in New York and touring and recording with the band ulu.
- Has played and recorded with many bands and artists including De La Buena, Choir Fight, Jamie Breiwick, Steve Peplin, The Static Chicken, Tristan Royalty Squad, The Extra Crispy Brass Band, The Soul Trio, The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and Eric Bennet.
- Wisconsin Conservatory of Music
- WCM faculty member since 1998.
- A member of the Conservatory’s We Six jazz sextet, Mr. Hamann attended the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, winning first place in the Jazz Studies Scholarship competition four years in a row.
- He has worked as a clinician and jazz festival judge in the Milwaukee, Kenosha and Waukesha public schools as well as at UW-Milwaukee, UW-Madison and UW-Green Bay.
- Performing with such well-known artists as Frank Morgan, Marlena Shaw, Steve Allen, and Eric Alexander, he has toured throughout the Midwest and has appeared at Jazz Yantra in Bombay, India.
- Jeff is also the bassist on Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know show, airing Saturdays on Wisconsin Public Radio and broadcast nationally on NPR stations.
- Bachelor of Music, Trumpet | University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
- WCM faculty member since 2008.
- Has had the privilege to perform and study with well-known jazz artists such as: David Hazeltine, Jim Rotondi, Tim Hagans, Willie Thomas, Slide Hampton, Maynard Ferguson, Doc Severinsen.
- In 2001, Eric released his debut jazz CD entitled Inspiration which features some of Milwaukee’s best jazz musicians as well as New York trumpet sensation and Grammy Award winner Brian Lynch.
- Toured the world in 2010-2013 with Milwaukee’s local soul band “Kings Go Forth” but now stays a bit closer to home and is a top call trumpeter for high profile gigs in Milwaukee, Madison, and Chicago and frequently plays with the popular Milwaukee-based Latin band De la Buena.
- Recorded for Johannes Wallmann “The Sweet Minute Big Band” and Willy Porter’s CD Human Kindness.
- Since 2010, he has been the trumpeter with the Conservatory’s resident jazz sextet We Six, providing fiery solos and contributing arrangements and original compositions to the band’s repertoire.
- Directs the WCM Batterman Ensemble that recently went to NYC for the Charles Mingus High School Jazz Festival & Competition.
- Bachelor of Music, Jazz Performance
- WCM faculty member since 1981.
- Regional freelance performer and teacher, as well as leader of his own small ensembles.
- Has performed with top jazz artists in the United States, including Buddy Montgomery, Melvin Rhyne, Frank Morgan, Berkeley Fudge, David Hazeltine, Brian Lynch, Manty Ellis, Wille Pickens, Ali Ryerson, Greg Abate, Von Freeman, and Henry Johnson.
- Paolo can be heard on the CD On the Edgewith The Luis Diaz Quintet, WYMS radio sampler CD with Berkeley Fudge On a Misty Night, and Jeanne Woodall’s It’s NeverToo Late.
- Currently on faculty teaching Jazz Bass, Theory and Performance at the Conservatory, and serves as clinician for the Jazz Experience for Milwaukee Public Schools and at various colleges.
- Bachelor of Arts, Music | Millikin University School of Music
- Master of Music | Northern Illinois University
- WCM faculty member since 2016.
- Equally versed in teaching and performing vocal jazz and classical repertoire.
- Was the Assistant Professor of Music at Alverno College in Milwaukee, Wisconsin between 2008-2015, directing the Alverno College Choir, Alverno Chamber Vocal Ensemble, and Jazz/Pop Ensemble.
- Also served as the Audition and Performance Coordinator while at Alverno, in addition to teaching private voice lessons, vocal techniques, voice lab, and various music seminar courses.
- Currently the Director of Adult Choirs at Unity Lutheran Church (Cross of Life campus) in Brookfield, Wisconsin.
- Also maintains a performance calendar with recitals and regular appearances with The Marion Consort, a Chicago based professional Early Music vocal ensemble, of which she is a founding member.
- Master Degree, Jazz Studies | University of South Florida
- Doctorate of Musical Arts (second year) | University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Chris’ latest recording project, entitled Sunday at Pilars, features his quartet and a mix of original jazz compositions and American Popular Song.
- Chris has been featured on albums by Saxophonists Dan Jordan and Jeff Rupert, and performs as conductor and pianist for The Lennon Sisters.
- He is a current Walt Disney World cast member, performing with the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra.
- Also serves as the jazz piano instructor at the University of South Florida
- Bachelor of Music, Emphasis in Jazz Studies | Indiana University Jacobs School of Music
- Performer’s Certificate for Senior Recital
- WCM faculty member since 2016.
- Began playing drums at age eight and has been studying percussion since age nine.
- Currently based in Milwaukee, Mitch is an in-demand performer, active educator, and composer.
- Co-leads tour-de-force fusion group, “Match Stick,” which released a self-titled album in 2019.
- In 2014, Mitch released his debut CD, “FLY!”, which invites listeners on a musical journey of original compositions and out-of-the-box arrangements for 20-piece big band.
- Featured clinician for the 2015 Summerfest Big Band Camp, along with Curt Hanrahan and Mike Steinel.
Conducted masterclasses at UW-Parkside, University of Indianapolis, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, Park Tudor School, and Nicolet High School.
- Teaches percussion at several Milwaukee public schools through the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music’s Conservatory Connections program.
- Bachelor of Arts | Oberlin College
- Member of the WCM faculty since 1996.
- An accomplished jazz composer as well as performer, Mr. Silbergleit has played clubs, concert halls, and festivals throughout the area as both a leader and a sideman.
- Has performed with a wide array of jazz luminaries such as Melvin Rhyne, Phil Woods, Benny Golson, Tierney Sutton, Jon Faddis, Richie Cole, Brian Lynch, David Hazeltine, and Jack McDuff, to name just a few.
- Both his 1996 debut CD Silberglicity(on which other Conservatory faculty members are featured) and his 2003 release, My New Attitude, have made it onto the jazz charts with nationwide airplay.
- A member of the Conservatory’s We Six jazz sextet, he has also worked with institutions like the Milwaukee Repertory Theater and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- In addition to his performance career, Paul is an active and experienced teacher and clinician, and the author or co-author of numerous widely-distributed instructional materials for Hal Leonard.