UCLA School of Music / Jazz
UCLA School of Music / Global Jazz

The School of Music is excited to welcome new and returning students back to campus. This page includes COVID-19 policies specific to the School of Music, links to campus resources for learning, teaching and safeguarding our musical community this fall.

Please check back here regularly. We will update this page as new information becomes available.

Welcome Back to the School of Music
Welcome Back to the School of Music
Welcome Back to the School of Music
UCLA has established the Shapiro Family Chair in Piano Performance, made possible by a $1 million gift from alumni Shirley and Ralph Shapiro.  David Kaplan, an assistant professor of piano performance and music performance, will serve as the inaugural chair holder. He earned his bachelor’s degree in music from UCLA in 2005 and joined the faculty in 2016, the year the music school was founded.  “I’m deeply honored to serve as the inaugural Shapiro Family Chair in Piano Performance,” Kaplan said. “I joined the faculty relatively recently, but my roots at UCLA are much deeper. I wouldn’t be the artist, person and teacher I am today without this school, so I’m thrilled that the Shapiros’ generosity is going to serve many future generations of UCLA piano students.”  READ MORE: 🔗 Link in Bio ⬆️
“The pandemic’s influence on higher education will be long-lasting and transformative – but not necessarily negative.” Read the latest @latimes op-ed by Stephen J. Handel and School of Music Inaugural Dean Eileen Strempel featuring their “Beyond Free College” research.  Link in Bio ⬆️
As we approach the end of the school year, we’re excited to announce that Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson, the 13th chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) (@neaarts), will deliver the keynote address at the @UCLAAlpert 2022 commencement celebration, which will be held in Dixon Court North on Friday, June 10 at 4 p.m. PT. 🎓  Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Dr. Jackson is the nation’s first African American and Mexican American woman to be appointed as chair of @NEAarts, an independent federal agency that is the largest funder of the arts and arts education in communities nationwide and a catalyst of public and private support for the arts. By advancing equitable opportunities for arts participation and practice, the NEA fosters and sustains an environment in which the arts benefit everyone in the United States. 📚🎨🎵  “We are thrilled that Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson will be participating in The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s 2022 commencement celebration,” said inaugural dean Eileen Strempel. “Dr. Jackson understands that the arts are a transformative force in our communities. Her tireless commitment to attracting national attention to the value of the arts and broadening accessibility to the arts is inspiring, as is her desire to share words of encouragement with our students and provide a guiding light as they reach this critical milestone.” 🎉  Congratulations to all our graduates! We can’t wait to celebrate all your hard work 💙💛  To learn more about Dr. Maria Rosario Jackson and the commencement, click the link in our bio ⬆️
#ThisisUCLAMusic #Classof2022 #UCLA2022 #Commencement #Music
The Hollywood bowl will open its 100th Season with a bang on Friday, June 3. It is a night featuring standout conductor Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil, Los Angeles Youth Orchestra (YOLA), jazz/classical saxophone legend Branford Marsalis, pop teen sensation Let It Happen, and an original fanfare written by legendary composer John Williams.  The headlining act is Gwen Stefani backed up by the LA Phil and a special performance with the UCLA Bruin Marching Band.  “Playing for the centennial season of the Hollywood Bowl, that’s a big deal” said Matt Espinoza, senior drum major. Espinoza grew up in neighboring Santa Monica, played trombone in the SaMoHi band, and was a UCLA fan as long as he could remember. “We just played at UCLA’s centennial. It helps remind you that you are part of something bigger than yourself.”  The marching band’s invitation to the Hollywood Bowl follows a decade and a half of high-profile success. The band has traveled internationally, playing in Hong Kong for the Chinese New Year Parade in 2006 and 2008, then to Nagoya, Japan for the Annual Ekitopia Festival Parade in 2010 and 2018, and to Taiwan for the Taoyuan International Band Festival in 2016. Known for their “Solid Gold Sound,” they have opened for The Rolling Stones and have been featured on popular albums including those by the English rock band Muse and the K-pop group BTS.  READ MORE: Link in Bio ⬆️
Nine years ago, the Armenian Music Program was started with a single student ensemble-in-residence. @UCLAalpert is thrilled to present the second annual Day of Armenian Music at UCLA on Tuesday, May 31st beginning at 12 PM to explore the depth and breadth of the Armenian Music Program. 🇦🇲  This celebration of Armenian Music includes a concert in Schoenberg Hall featuring the UCLA VEM Ensemble, the UCLA Armenian Music Ensemble and world-renowned guest artists, including folk singer Hasmik Harutyunyan (@hasmikharutyunyanofficial) and jazz pianist Vardan Ovsepian (@vardanovsepianmusic). 🎶  A culmination of nearly a decade’s worth of ambitious work in programming, community outreach and global touring, join us in celebration of all this artistry and history. After the workshops, concertgoers are invited to reunite outside Schoenberg Hall for a communal dance class 💃 and book fair 📚. 
To learn more, click the link in our bio ⬆️
#ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #ArmenianMusic
We are thrilled to congratulate Cesar Favila, assistant professor of musicology, who has received support  for his book project, “Immaculate Sounds: The Musical Lives of Nuns in New Spain.” Favila has been named a Mellon Emerging Faculty Leader by The Institute for Citizens & Scholars and a Fellow under the ACLS Fellowship Program. Both awards are among the most prestigious available for early-career scholars. 📚  “These recent accolades for my research would not be possible were it not for the intellectual stimulation from my colleagues and students at UCLA, to whom I am so grateful,” said Cesar Favila.  Favila also received the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Mentorship Award for his work mentoring Herman Chavez, an outstanding undergraduate at UCLA.  We are so proud of our faculty and the impactful work they do! 🎉  To learn more about Favila, MEFL, and ACLS, click the link in our bio. ⬆️ 
@mellonfdn | #ThisisUCLAMusic #Musicology
TONIGHT! FREE CONCERT LIVE AT ROYCE HALL!  The concert features a special presentation of O’Farrill’s recent Grammy Award-winning album “Four Questions,” with narration by Cornel West, and instrumentation by the UCLA Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, directed by O’Farrill, a professor of global jazz studies and music, and UCLA Philharmonia, directed by Neal Stulberg, a professor of music.  The event also will have performances by Mariachi Los Camperos, directed by Jesús Guzmán, as well as a performance of Miguel Bernal Jiménez’s Concertino para Órgano y Orquesta featuring UCLA organist Christoph Bull.  The free concert will now be held at Royce Hall on May 13 at 8 p.m. The RSVPs of those who have already registered for the event, which was originally scheduled to take place in downtown Los Angeles, will be honored at Royce Hall. New guests may still RSVP for the concert.  RSVP Link in Bio ⬆️
First-year violin student Emily Taylor knew about UCLA’s annual Vivaldi at Powell concert long before she enrolled. “I went to Santa Monica High School,” she explained, “and I knew students who had graduated, gone to UCLA and played in the concert. It was a big deal.” Taylor left no doubt about its importance. “It’s a little nerve-wracking to know that I will be performing.”  Taylor and other first-year students will headline the Vivaldi at Powell concert on May 4, 8:00 p.m. in the rotunda of the Powell Library. The concert will feature a baroque music lineup, including the Four Seasons, as well as solo pieces written by Vivaldi, Telemann, and Popper. They will perform with their teachers, the world-class faculty of the Herb Alpert School of Music.  Read More: Link in Bio ⬆️
Join us tonight, April 28 at 8 PM as the UCLA Wind Ensemble returns to Royce Hall with a celebration of American music.  Opening with Halcyon Hearts, a 2021 piece by young American composer Katahj Copley (@katahjcopley) followed by Los Angeles composer Frank Ticheli’s (@frank_ticheli) haunting Rest. Additionally In honor of Steven Spielberg’s recent Oscar-winning film adaptation, the ensemble plays Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story. Lastly, to mark the 90th birthday of UCLA alumnus John Williams, the program will close with the iconic music from the movie, Star Wars.  To learn more info, click the link in our bio ⬆️
“Examining the words and concepts that we use to describe musical experiences is one way to begin to allow for contradictory experiences to stand side-by-side, and to hear other valuable perspectives. No one should have to ‘fit into a box’ for their musical experiences to be valid.”- Inaugural Dean Eileen Strempel 💙  Join us and the Practice-based Experimental Epistemology Research Lab at UCLA (@peerlabucla) for a two-day symposium, organized by The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music’s PEER Lab & Durham University Music Department April 29-30, 2022 🗓. This event aims to spark conversation on how metaphorical language shapes our understanding of not only music and sound but one another and the world. 🌍  From musicologists, theorists, Indigenous scholars, linguists, to performers and playwrights, presenters will meditate on metaphors about music and examine how they work.📚  To learn more about the symposium and register, click the link in our bio ⬆️  #ThisisUCLAMusic #Research #Musicology #Symposium
Cornel West (@brothercornelwest) and Arturo O’Farrill (@pianitis) will perform Grammy-winning album "Four Questions" with the UCLA Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and the UCLA Philharmonia under the direction of Neal Stulberg on Friday, May 13 at 8:00 p.m. at Royce Hall. The concert features an extensive playbill, including the legendary Mariachi Los Camperos (@mlcamperos) , directed by Jesús Guzmán, as well as a performance of Miguel Bernal Jiménez’s Concertino para Órgano y Orquesta featuring UCLA organist Christoph Bull.
“The concert will be an embarrassment of riches,” said Steven Loza, director of the Center for Latino Arts, chair of Global Jazz Studies and professor of ethnomusicology at @UCLAalpert.  “Four Questions” was initially commissioned by the @ApolloTheater and premiered there in 2016. It became the title track of O’Farrill’s album Four Questions, which won the Grammy Award for the Best Latin Jazz Album in 2021. Although the album dropped in 2020, this will be the first live performance of the complete album.  Tickets for the performance are free but must be reserved in advance. Donations received with event RSVPs will support the UCLA Center for Latino Arts. Click the link in our bio to RSVP and learn more! ⬆️  #ThisisUCLAMusic #AfroLatinJazz #GlobalJazz #laconcert
"Jazz is really about the human experience. It’s about the ability of human beings to take the worst of circumstances and struggles and turn it into something creative and constructive. That’s something that’s built into the fiber of every human being. And I think that’s why people can respond to it. They feel the freedom in it."- Herbie Hancock 🎹  We are thrilled to wish Herbie Hancock a belated happy birthday 🥳. We are thankful to have Herbie's inspiring leadership as Chairman of the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz and his contributions to music.  💙💛  #ThisisUCLAMusic #HappyBirthday #Repost
In celebration of Jazz Appreciation month six-time Grammy-winning jazz trumpeter🎺, composer and  Kenny Burrell Chair in Jazz Studies at @UCLAalpert, Terence Blanchard (@terence_blanchard), was a featured guest of the National Endowment for the Arts Podcast 🎙 (@neaarts).  In this podcast, he discusses how he came to write “Fire Shut Up in My Bones”, the first opera by a Black composer to be performed by the Met, the bitter-sweetness of its premiere, how he works with collaborators in jazz, in opera and in film 📽—especially his long collaboration with Spike Lee (@officialspikelee), how composing for film enabled him to write opera, the influence of Art Blakey on his music, the impact of Black Lives Matter on his work, and the joy of playing live with his group the E Collective. 💙  To listen to the full podcast and kick off your celebration of Jazz Appreciation month, click the link in our bio ⬆️.  #ThisisUCLAMusic #UCLA #terenceblanchard🎺 #GlobalJazzStudies #JazzAppreciationMonth
Join us on Friday, April 8 at 11 AM for a screening of “Āvānegār”, a collaborative documentary narrated by Dr. Mohsen Mohammadi, the Director of Indo-Persian Music at UCLA, as he explores the history of transcription of Iranian music 📜, based on decades of research in various archives in Iran, Europe, and the United States. The screening event will include a Panel Discussion featuring @UCLAalpert faculty members Richard Danielpour and  Mohsen Mohammadi (@mohammadigram) moderated by Dr. Shahab Paranj 💙💛  Rare historical documents and sources are presented in the film, and several historical notations of Iranian music are performed.  Exclusively for the film Professor of Composition at Carnegie Mellon University, Dr. Reza Vali, arranged a five-movement piece that is performed by an ensemble of notable American musicians. Moreover, several prominent Iranian musicians are featured, including Navid Afghah (@navid_afghah), Ali Bahramifard (ali _bahramifard), Kazem Davoudian (@kazem.davoudian), Siroos Jamali, Siamak Jahangiri, Layla Ramezan (@laylaramezan), and Behzad Ravaqi (@behzadravaqi).  This film is dedicated to the memory of Mohammad-Taghi Massoudieh (1927–1999), whose publications are invaluable and incomparable sources for researchers, musicians, composers, and all who are interested in Iranian music. 🎶  To learn more about the screening and the panelists, click the link in our bio ⬆️.  #ThisisUCLAMusic #Ethnomusicology #Composition #MusicTheory
We are proud to congratulate 🥳 the entire UCLA trumpet studio who made it all the way to the semi finals of the National Trumpet Competition 🎺 (@natltrumpetcomp) and were chosen as one of the top five ensembles.  Brass Area Head and Professor of Trumpet Performance, Jens Lindemann (@trumpetjens), shared his pride for the @UCLAalpert students and recognized their hard work. 
"I could not be more proud of the effort these students have put in because for the last month they have been on campus at 8 AM every day to prepare for this.”  Great work Bruins! 🐻 We are extremely excited to celebrate your successes 🎉💙  Congratulations to the five freshmen, one sophomore, one junior, and two first year masters students who participated:  Aric Kline (@arickline)
Saul Gutierrez (@saul_gutierreztrpt)
Cyrus Alva (@cyrus_alva)
Andrew ‘Smitty’ Smith (@andrew_s_03)
Nicholas Washburn (@nick.washburn)
Remy Ohara (@lmno.remy)
Nathaniel Leland 
Emma Breen
McCartney Hutchison  #ThisisUCLAMusic #Trumpet #MusicPerformance
Thanks to a $5 million commitment from the Herb Alpert Foundation, the practice rooms in the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music Schoenberg Music Building are about to be tuned to perfection.  The 46 practice rooms have not been fully refurbished since their construction in 1955. They will be renovated to state-of-the-art specifications, including enhanced acoustics, modern LED lighting and hardwired Wi-Fi. Construction is set to start this summer, and the renovated space will be named Imagination Hall, as a tribute to the breadth of musical creativity that it will foster.  “Practice rooms are the spaces in which to incubate; it’s where the magic happens,” said Herb Alpert, the legendary musician, music executive and philanthropist who, with his wife, Lani Hall, has given more than $40 million through the Herb Alpert Foundation to support UCLA.  “The entire educational experience of the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music will be deeply transformed by the high-quality, acoustically crafted, foundational spaces made possible through the Herb Alpert Foundation’s ongoing philanthropic leadership,” said inaugural dean Eileen Strempel. “This generous gift is yet another inspiring demonstration of Herb Alpert’s profound commitment to supporting and fostering the creativity of the next generations of artists. We are honored to announce this gift and celebrate his birthday on the same day.” 🎉  To read more, click the link in our bio. ⬆️
Barbara Morrison, a three-time Grammy nominated vocalist and adjunct associate professor at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, died March 16. She was 72.  Over her 60-year career, Morrison worked with greats such as Tony Bennett, Kenny Burrell, Ron Carter, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, Etta James, and guest starred with the Count Basie Orchestra.  Following the loss of Morrison, we continue to celebrate her legacy by remembering all her contributions to music and the Bruin community. In 1996, Morrison began teaching voice lessons at UCLA. She was one of the first hires by jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell, director of the then-new jazz studies concentration.  “Because of her vocal virtuosity and international name in the field, she has been one of our greatest examples to our students, who loved her teaching style and her personality,” said Steve Loza, chair of global jazz studies at UCLA. In 2020, UCLA established the Barbara Morrison Scholarship for Jazz, supporting students in global jazz studies at the school of music.  Several students also shared their fond memories of Morrison while at @UCLAalpert. Global Jazz Studies major Sophia James (@sophiajamesmusic) shared that Morrison was one of the reasons she chose to study at UCLA and others shared recordings of performances with her. 🤍  A public celebration of life was held at the Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center in Leimert Park, featuring live music and presentations by her fans and loved ones.  To read more about Morrison's contributions, learn about the Barbara Morrison Scholarship for Jazz, and watch her performance at UCLA’s Closing Centennial Program, click the link in our bio. ⬆️  @barbaramorrisonperformingarts @cajazzandbluesmuseum @bmorrblues @barbaramorrisonofficial | #ThisisUCLAMusic #UCLA #GlobalJazzStudies

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Op-Ed: Fall of Roe is Devastating for Educational Equity
The fall of Roe v. Wade equals the end of equitable educational access for women writes Eileen Strempel, inaugural dean of The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and Christina Christie, Wasserman Dean of UCLA’s School of Education & Information Studies.
Duane Benjamin Collaborates With BTS for YouTube Livestream Hit “Proof”
The video “Proof” by K-Pop super band BTS garnered 12 million views in its first day and now (at least, as this article was finalizing) is approaching 20 million views.
$1 million gift endows UCLA faculty chair in piano performance
UCLA has established the Shapiro Family Chair in Piano Performance, made possible by a $1 million gift from alumni Shirley and Ralph Shapiro.
Kiefer and the Magic of Improvisation
The award-winning producer and pianist talks about his musical aspirations and how attending UCLA changed his identity.
Op-Ed: How the pandemic is changing higher education for the better
“The pandemic’s influence on higher education will be long-lasting and transformative – but not necessarily negative.” Read the latest LA Times op-ed by Stephen J. Handel and Eileen Strempel featuring their “Beyond Free College” research.
Meet Kim Mendez, Graduate Commencement Speaker 2022
Among their highlights at UCLA was performing on a Grammy-winning recording with the UCLA Chamber Singers, as well as being part of the Seraphic Fire Ensemble Artists Program through their choral studies program.
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