University of Maryland

The University of Maryland is at College Park, Maryland, just outside Washington, DC. Chris Vadala, the director of Jazz Studies, has been with the program for nineteen of the department’s twenty years. Maryland has 30-35 candidates for degrees in jazz studies and related programs.

University of Maryland Director of Jazz Studies Chris Vadala conducts the Jazz Ensemble.

Vadala teaches saxophone and the woodwinds, large ensemble, improvisation and is conductor. He has two other full-time faculty members plus adjuncts who teach drums, bass, guitar, piano, trombone and arranging/theory. Faculty members of whom you may have heard are Chuck Redd, who teaches drums and percussion master classes, and Jon Osment, piano, Tom Baldwin bass, and trombonist Ben Patterson. Maryland offers 3 big bands and four ensembles in which students can perform.

Among other curriculum offerings are advanced improvisation, pedagogy, theory courses, jazz arranging and composition and jazz history leading to a bachelor’s degree in music and a bachelor’s in jazz, plus a Master’s in Jazz Studies. Two graduate scholarships are available and Maryland offers undergraduates financial aid depending on audition results and student need.

Chris Vadala says Maryland does three concerts per semester. They perform at the annual Jazz Festival in nearby Washington, DC each spring and do an outdoor concert in May.

If you would like to learn more about the University of Maryland’s jazz programs, here is contact information: phone (301) 405-5519 or email

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