Meadows Jazz Orchestra
The Meadows Jazz Orchestra, under the direction of Dylan Smith, is a traditional large jazz ensemble totaling 18 students. Students are selected by audition each fall and are involved in an array of degree programs and majors across the Meadows School of the Arts and the SMU campus. The Meadows Jazz Orchestra has included students majoring in music performance, music education, music therapy, composition, music theory pedagogy, sacred music, creative computation, political science, engineering, economics, business and statistics.
The MJO explores the scope of repertoire from the traditions of the great big bands including: Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Thad Jones & Mel Lewis and more. Additionally, the MJO performs contemporary pieces including compositions by current members of the Meadows Jazz Orchestra.
The Meadows Jazz Orchestra, established in 1998, has performed with guest artists including John Holiday, Lynn Seaton, Dennis DiBlasio, Akira Sato, Kevin Butler and Derrick Horne, among others. The MJO has also hosted distinguished artists for performances and masterclasses including Alan Hood and Owen Broder, and ensembles including the Count Basie Orchestra and the U.S. Air Force Dimensions in Blue.
In addition to the numerous performances that the MJO has presented at the Meadows School of the Arts, the ensemble has performed at the North Texas Jazz Festival, the Dallas Woman’s Club, the Dallas City Performance Hall and at the 2016 Black Tie Dinner.
In fall 2015, the MJO started a tradition of hosting an annual swing dance, which has become an SMU community favorite event.