Don Waldrop, Director
The Stetson Jazz is a major performing ensemble in the School of Music and is directed by veteran musician Don Waldrop. Performing four concerts per year, members are chosen by audition from musicians of the School of Music plus interested and talented non-music majors.
The ensemble, which is primarily an 18-member jazz big band, performs selections ranging from swing-era standards to contemporary originals, encompassing a variety of musical styles. Members of the jazz ensemble are also often formed into smaller groups for concerts and special events.
Big band music has existed at Stetson University since the late 1930's -- mainly in the form of a dance orchestra. With the increased inclusion of jazz in both secondary and higher education, the School of Music established the Stetson University Jazz Ensemble (now Setson Jazz) in the early 1970's. Over the past several years, the band has performed at festivals including the New Smyrna Beach Jazz Festival, the LYNX Jazz Festival in Orlando and the Noble Watts Jazz Festival in DeLand, in addition to concerts at Flagler Auditorium, the Dolly Hand Cultural Arts Center in Belle Glade and Disney World. Stetson Jazz also performs on campus for university functions along with its regularly scheduled fall and spring concerts in the Stetson Room.