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Press Release

MSU Denver’s music program earns reaccreditation, adds new jazz concentration

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: October 14, 2014

DENVER – The National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) has renewed its accreditation of Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Department of Music, including a new Jazz and American Improvised Music Performance concentration.

Previously, students’ only jazz-specific options were to enroll in private lessons or join one of MSU Denver’s jazz bands or combos. Although jazz-related courses were initially offered in August 2013, the accreditation became official for the start of the fall 2014 semester. “The jazz concentration has quickly become one of the most popular focus areas in the music program, with 40 majors currently enrolled,” said Michael Kornelsen, associate dean of the arts in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

“Our program honors the improvisation of jazz, its music, its players and its various forms, while recognizing the fundamentally central role of improvisation in music,” said Peter Schimpf, associate professor and chair of the Department of Music.

NASM, the national accrediting agency for music and music-related disciplines, establishes the national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials.

The Jazz concentration features a modern curriculum to enhance students’ understanding of music’s evolution, and aligns with today’s music-industry standards. “Unlike a conservatory, our program is unique because all genres of music are used,” said Ron Miles, coordinator of jazz studies and a world-renowned jazz musician. “This program speaks to current music communities and addresses their interests as students and working musicians.” Courses include a combination of traditional music-theory and performance courses as well as new electives such as songwriting.

The department regularly hosts and collaborates with local jazz-prominent venues within metro Denver. Events listed below are open to the public.

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 6 p.m.
MSU Denver Jazz Combos
Dazzle, 930 Lincoln St., Denver

Wednesday, Oct. 15, 7:30 p.m.
MSU Denver Jazz Orchestras
Mercury Café, 2199 California St., Denver

Saturday, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Friends and Alumni of Music at MSU Denver ­­– Jazz Combos and Jazz Choir
King Center Concert Hall, Room 145, Auraria Campus

Wednesday, Oct. 22, 3 p.m.
Jazz Masterclass with Josh Quinlan, saxophone
Arts Building, Room 295, Auraria Campus

Visit the Department of Music website for a full listing of upcoming events:



About Metropolitan State University of Denver

MSU Denver is a leader in educating Coloradans in university programs particularly relevant to the state’s economy and the demands of today’s employers. With the highest number of ethnically-diverse students among the state’s four-year colleges, MSU Denver offers 55 majors plus master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. More than 22,000 students are currently enrolled at MSU Denver, and 75 percent of the University’s 77,000 graduates have remained in Colorado as valuable members of the state’s workforce. 

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