jamie begian - student work


All of the music listed on this page came as a result of the Jazz Theory and Jazz Arranging courses I teach at WCSU.  Starting in the fall the students select a jazz standard to work with and by December have a fully realized big band arrangement of the song completed (with a full set of parts) and all hand written too!

The form of each chart is the same: intro / head (24 - 32 bars) / sax soli (24 - 32 bars) / solo with backgrounds / shout (12 - 16 bars) / last half of tune / ending.  This is the same basic schematic of Thad's classic "Three and One."  I've found that giving the students a concrete form of an arrangement enables them to focus more clearly on the harmonic and melodic aspects of the music, which is the stated goal of the course.  The following spring they take a Jazz Arranging course which has a greater latitude for experiments in form, harmony, rhythm and all that cool stuff

These students all have gone way above and beyond what is reasonable to expect from an undergraduate student - but I don't let them know that until after the fact!

(all photos courtesy of Peggy Stewart except where noted)


Darren Litzie - Solar (performed WCSU Jazz Orchestra)

Darren is also the pianist on the recording which also features fellow WCSU 2008 graduates Nick Biello on alto and Ryan Dunne on drums.

Darren is currently a participant in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop in NYC and a freelance pianist.


Marc Shamasian - Milestones (performed by WCSU Jazz Orchestra)

Marc is the featured soloist on this as well.



Dan Pacuk- Whisper Not (performed by WCSU Jazz Orchestra)


Nick Biello - Conception (performed by WCSU Jazz Orchestra)

Nick recently finished his Masters Degree at the Manhattan School of Music and has just recorded his first CD as a leader - it's an excellent recording that will be available soon

  He has also performed with my big band on both bari and lead alto - but not at the same time!


Dan O'Brien - Joy Spring (performed by WCSU Jazz Orchestra)

Dan is currently entering his junior year as a Music Education / Jazz Studies double major


Here's a recording from the 2010 WCSU summer band camp playing my piece Fuzzy Math  I was very impressed by the level of commitment and dedication these young people (some as young as 14!) put into my music.

That's Ryan Asbridge (alto) & Tomas Nazer-Paniagua (trumpet) as featured soloists; also prominent are Rose Minichiello (bari), Joshua Uguccioni (bass) and Molly Sayles (drums).
(contributed photos)


Peter Csere -  Daahoud (performed by WCSU Jazz Orchestra)

Peter is currently entering his senior year as a Jazz Studies (piano) major.

(contributed photo)