• music
Jazz Studies Major
  • Capital's jazz studies program is one of the pioneering programs of its kind, with a strong emphasis on both classroom and applied experiences, including improvisation and composition. The program features a highly intensive study of jazz and contemporary music, combined with traditional theoretical studies, ensemble experience and courses in the arts and sciences.

    In addition to preparing students for success as performers, an undergraduate education in jazz studies is excellent preparation for entrance into the nation's most prestigious graduate programs. Several of Capital's jazz studies majors also have chosen to expand their career options by earning their teaching certification.

    Degrees Offered

    Bachelor's of Music in Jazz Studies-Performance (PDF)

    Masters of Music Education/Pedagogy, Jazz Studies (Three Summer Program)


    Jazz Studies majors have the opportunity to play in numerous ensembles, such as:

    • Big Band
    • MIDI band
    • Fusion band
    • Rock Ensemble
    • Jazz Consort
    • Birdland Combo
    • Vanguard Small Jazz Ensemble
    • Savoy Combo
    • Jazz Percussion Ensemble
    • Guitar Workshop
    • Jazz Guitar Ensemble
    • World Music Ensemble


    The Capital University Jazz Ensembles have appeared around the world, including:

    • Jazz Education Network Conference, Louisville, KY/Atlanta, GA
    • Montreux Jazz Festival, Switzerland
    • Jazz a’ Vienne, France
    • North Sea Jazz Festival, Holland
    • Jazz a’ Brienze, Switzerland
    • Umbria Jazz Festival, Italy
    • Tuscani Jazz Festival, Italy
    • Puerto Rico
    • Elmhurst Jazz Festival, Elmhurst, IL
    • Tri-C Jazz Festival, Cleveland, OH
    • Notre Dame Jazz Festival, Southbend, IN
    • Aquinas College Jazz Festival, Grand Rapids, MI
    • Loyola Jazz Festival, New Orleans, LA
    • Kansas City, KS
    • International Association for Jazz Education International Conference, Anaheim, CA/Chicago, IL


    Full-Time Faculty/Position-Courses Taught in Area:

    • Dr. Lou Fischer-Jazz Area Head, Jazz Ensemble Coordinator, Big Band Director, Fusion Band, American Pop/Jazz Theory, Jazz Arranging
    • Robert Breithaupt – Performance Dept. Chair, Graduate Coordinator, drumset
    • Stan Smith – Birdland Combo, guitar, Jazz Composition,
    • Dr. Michael Cox – Jazz Styles & Analysis, saxophone
    • Rob Parton – Trumpet, Jazz History, Jazz Consort
    • Dr. Mark Lochstampfor – Rock Ensemble
    • Eric Paton – World Music Ensemble, Ethnic Percussion Ensembles
    • Chad Loughrige – MIDI Band, technology

    Adjunct Faculty:

    • Ryan Hamilton – Jazz Trombone, American Pop/Jazz Theory Audiation Lab, Jazz Improvisation, Savoy Combo
    • Roger Hines – Bass, History of Jazz & Pop
    • Erik Augis – Jazz Keyboard
    • Nate Anders – Jazz Percussion Ensemble, Percussion
    • Doug Neel – Jazz Guitar Ensemble
    • Red Neinkerchen – Guitar Workshop
    • Brett Burleson-Jazz Guitar


    Notable alumni from the program include names such as:

    • Cozy Cole – World-renowned drummer
    • Stan Smith – Capital University faculty, Columbus, OH
    • Matt Billingsley – Drummer for Taylor Swift/formerly Lady Antebellum
    • Vince Andrews – Jazz/gospel saxophonist, Florida
    • Tom Wolfe – Director of Jazz Studies, University of Alabama
    • Lee Hill – Former bass trombonist with DIVA; Columnist, Kansas City Star
    • Larry Spencer – Professional Jazz Trumpeter, Dallas/Ft. Worth
    • Brian Fullen – Author, "Country Styles," Alfred Reed Publishing; Nashville Studio Drummer
    • Wes Orr – Lead Trumpet, Columbus Jazz Orchestra
    • Ray Eubanks – Professor Emeriti

    Annual Jazz & World Music Festival

    The Jazz and World Music Festival is a month-long event featuring student and faculty ensemble concerts, both on campus and in the community, and world-class jazz artists in clinics, workshops, and in concert. In addition, one day is earmarked for the Jazz Ensemble Invitational that brings together middle and high school, collegiate and community jazz ensembles from within a five-state region for a friendly non-competitive atmosphere in an educationally emphasized setting. Adjudication is provided by internationally-recognized judges. The event is sanctioned by the Jazz Education Network as a non-competitive festival.


    Capital's Jazz Studies program boasts a faculty jazz group comprised of:

    • Stan Smith – guitar
    • Robert Breithaupt – drums
    • Dr. Michael Cox – saxophones
    • Roger Hines – bass
    • Erik Augis – piano
    • Rob Parton – trumpet

    For more information about the Jazz Studies program, contact Dr. Lou Fischer, Jazz Area head, at (614)236-6285 or lfischer@capital.edu.