A man conducting a band on a stage
Bruce Diehl, director of the Jazz Ensemble, is helping to continue a tradition of excellence by leading the ensemble to explore a diverse range of literature--Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Bill Holman, Duke Ellington, Matt Harris, Fred Sturm and David Springfield are some prime examples. Aside from rehearsing tunes, the band is also a forum for understanding the underlying theory and historical context of the music.

For example, every year the band learns a head chart without the aid of any written music. This gives the musicians a chance to learn a chart by listening instead of merely reading, as was common practice in the big band era. In addition, and to stay "fresh", the ensemble also commissions a new piece each year written by aspiring and inspiring jazz composers from across the country and as far away as Chile. This commission series, named after Robin McBride '59, will celebrate it's 20th commission in Spring 2024!

The jazz ensemble plays 5-6 times each year on campus and is known in the area for its consistently professional sound. At the end of each semester, the group looks forward to playing a major concert in Buckley Hall. 

For more info, please email Bruce Diehl at