South High School is very proud of our outstanding jazz program. The South jazz program consists of Jazz I and Jazz II, which are curricular offerings. In order to participate in a jazz ensemble, students must be enrolled as a music student in a large ensemble (band, choir, or orchestra). Exceptions are rare, and in accordance with WSMA rules.
The jazz ensembles perform in multiple school concerts a year, including the Autumn Jazz Concert and the Jazz Nightclub.
Jazz I is one of the premier high school jazz ensembles in the Midwest. Jazz I travels to several festivals a year, including the Slinger Jazz Festival, Jazz In The Meadows in the Chicago area, the Lawrence University Jazz Festival, the Marquette Jazz Festival, and the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. In 2000, Jazz I was the champion of class AAA at the prestigious Jazz In The Meadows Festival.
Jazz I has opened for such jazz legends as Maynard Ferguson, Arturo Sandoval, The Count Basie Orchestra, The Woody Herman Orchestra, The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, and the Guy Lombardo Orchestra.
The Waukesha South Jazz Ensemble II is a class B ensemble that concentrates on developing jazz style, articulation and theory. Students will perform challenging material while learning how to improvise in the appropriate style. Performances include an Autumn Jazz Concert, The Slinger Jazz Festival, W.S.M.A. Solo / Ensemble Festival, a home basketball game, and our annual Jazz Night Club Concert. Entrance is by audition or director approval.
The Waukesha South Jazz Ensemble I is a class A ensemble that further develops jazz style, articulation, scales, and advanced theory. Students will perform challenging material while learning how to improvise in the appropriate style. Performances include an Autumn Jazz Concert, The Lawrence University Jazz Celebration Weekend, The Slinger Jazz Festival, The Jazz In The Meadows Festival in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, the W.S.M.A. Solo / Ensemble Festival, a home Basketball game, and our annual Jazz Night Club Concert. Each year Jazz Ensemble I opens up for an internationally renowned artist as part of our Guest Artist Series. All members of Jazz Ensemble I wear entirely black dress clothes for performances. Entrance is by audition or director approval.