Repertoire for the orchestra is essentially from the music known as Ellingtonia. This huge body of music is the result of written and improvised music and the vast number of recordings produced by Duke Ellington and his orchestra. The music of Ellingtonia also contains important contributions from other composers and arrangers such as Louie Bellson, Gerald Wilson, Juan Tizol, Mary Lou Williams, Luther Henderson, and Billy Strayhorn. The music of Ellingtonia is filled with a variety of traditional and experimental musical elements that has had a profound impact on music of the 20th and 21st centuries. Students study and rehearse the music on a regular basis in class. They perform in concert once every quarter.
Designed for student ensemble similar in size to a modern jazz big band, roughly 18 to 20 members. Size may vary depending on the requirements of the individual compositions performed.
Director: Kenny Burrell