Why Should You Choose U of T Jazz?
Posted by Chase Sanborn

Why should you choose U of T Jazz over other jazz programs? What is different about this program? These are common questions from students considering where to study. Here are just some of the reasons to choose U of T Jazz:

Far and away, the U of T Jazz students provide the most compelling reason to want to join the ranks. Musically, they stand toe-to-toe with anyone. Personally, they project an atmosphere that is supportive, encouraging and challenging as they propel each other towards higher goals. The connections you make here will last your entire career: the Toronto jazz scene is well populated with former U of T Jazz students. If you are a motivated young jazz musician, you will feel at home from the minute you cross the threshold.

The University of Toronto is located in the heart of one of the most vibrant cities in Canada. Shops, restaurants and jazz clubs are steps away from our front door. In fact, the Toronto jazz scene is one of the most active you will find anywhere in the world outside of New York: you can hear world-class jazz performed virtually every day of the year. This is a crucially important factor in your education.

U of T Jazz is a small and elite program. This is important on two levels: a small student body means an overall higher level and smaller classes. Surrounded by motivated and focused colleagues, with small student-teacher ratios, your growth will be rapid.

Despite the small student body, we have a large faculty comprised of 100% professional working musicians. In your four years at U of T you will establish a close working relationship with many of the top jazz musicians in Toronto. The information you get from your teachers is informed and relevant; the connections you make are significant.

U of T Jazz is a part of the U of T Faculty of Music, which encompasses a wide range of musical styles. Your circle of friends will include musicians from other disciplines, and will have the opportunity to hear your colleagues perform symphonic music, chamber music, wind ensemble, opera etc. This ‘cross-pollination’ is healthy for all concerned, and provides a broad based musical experience that will be invaluable in the future.

The advantages of being part of a small program within a major university cannot be overstated. It’s like living in a small neighborhood within a city—your day-to-day interactions are friendly and familiar, but just outside your ‘hood is a big world. As a student at the University of Toronto, your opportunities are immense.

As a member of at least two ensembles, every U of T Jazz student performs numerous times through the year, at a variety of venues including the REX Jazz Bar, Upper and Lower Jazz Studios, Walter Hall, Hart House and MacMillan Theatre. Unlike some schools, all ensembles have the same opportunities for performance. If you want to play, this is the place for you.

As of fall 2011, U of T Jazz has moved into a new home at 90 Wellesley Street (Faculty of Music South). With this move, we’ve gained much needed space for classrooms and rehearsals, plus two performance spaces dedicated to jazz. Everyone shares the excitement of moving forward and creating a place where creativity can take full flight.

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