Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble


The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble uses the traditional mix of saxes, trombones, trumpets, piano, guitar, bass and drums, supplemented on occasion by other instruments and vocalists.  We’ve included violin, harmonica, vibes, viola, cello and SATB vocal quartets in our recent work. 

The full band rehearses on Mondays and Wednesdays from 4:30 to 6:30.  Additional weekly sectional rehearsals are required and are arranged at the convenience of each section. 

For music majors, playing with The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble meets the Music Department’s performance ensemble requirement.  Academic credit is available for all participants. (See course listing for MUSC 0205.)  All band members are urged to take private lessons with one of the Department’s Affiliate Artists.  A significant discount is offered to encourage doing this.

Auditions are required to participate in the SIJE.  Auditions are scheduled during the first week of classes of each term.  A description of the audition process, audition pieces and recordings can be found and downloaded at the MiddJazz blog site,

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions.

Dick Forman, Director of Jazz Activities
MCA 318
802 443 3288


Jazz Activities

Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble in action


The Music Department offers two organized jazz activities.  For this spring, there will also be an unusual opportunity for jazz singers.

The Jazz Workshop provides a weekly opportunity for jazz students to work on repertoire development, jazz idiom and theory, improvisation and playing in small groups.  Beginning jazz players are welcome; advanced students are encouraged to participate.  Previous jazz experience is not required; proficiency on your instrument is.  Auditions are not required.  The workshop meets on Thursdays, from 4:30 to 6:30 in the Center for the Arts, room 221.  Please contact Dick Forman at for more information.

The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble, the College’s 17-piece big band, currently has no openings.   But Dick Forman, the band’s director, is eager to meet students with previous jazz ensemble experience who would be interested in playing with the group in the future.  Please contact him at to set up a time to say hello, or for more information.

The band is considering adding a couple of tunes to its repertoire, originally arranged by Darmon Meader, for The New York Voices.  We’ll be looking to form one SATB quartet to perform these charts with the band.  Auditions will be held Wednesday and Thursday, February 12 and 13, from 1:00 to 3:00, in the CFA, room 217.  No appointment is necessary.  Please just stop by.  If you’re interested, but cannot audition during those times please contact Dick Forman at to make an appointment.  Please prepare a bit of one standard ballad and one up-tempo tune of your choosing.  See Dick if you need more information.

Jazz has been part of the Middlebury experience since the early 1930’s, when a group of students formed a band to play the music that’s come to be called America’s National Treasure.  Jazz continues to be heard in practice rooms and performance spaces across campus.  The Music Department supports a vibrant jazz scene with two organized activities for jazz players, periodic courses in jazz and other popular music genres, and jazz-specific private lessons in piano, voice, guitar, sax, trumpet, trombone, bass and drums.   

The Sound Investment Jazz Ensemble is the College’s swingin’ 17-piece big band.  The Basie band remains a strong influence.  In addition to charts from the Basie, Ellington, Buddy Rich and Thad Jones books (for example), the band also plays the best of contemporary jazz compositions and arrangements.  Membership in the band is by audition only.  The SIJE maintains an active performance schedule that includes dance gigs, club dates and concerts.

The Jazz Workshop provides an opportunity for students to work on jazz idiom and theory, improvisation, repertoire development, and playing in small groups.  Beginning jazz players are welcome; advanced students and existing jazz combos are encouraged to participate.  Auditions are helpful, but not required.  Combo performances are encouraged and supported in spaces around campus, at 51Main (the College’s downtown bistro) and in presentations in the Center for the Arts.

We’re happy to feature several recordings of our current and former students. The recordings were made at performances in the MCA Concert Hall, using two fixed microphones mounted over the stage. The recording results are, unfortunately, not studio-quality, but the samples will give you an idea of the material we play and the great music we make together. 

Click below to listen.

88 Basie Street.  Composed and arranged by Sammy Nestico.  SIJE, featuring Felix Klos ‘14, piano.

Bag’s Groove.  Composed by Milt Jackson, arranged by John Clayton, Jr..  SIJE, featuring Grace Bell ‘13, vibes, Jeff Haswell ’12, tenor sax, and Peter Moore ’14, alto sax.

Caravan.  Composed by Duke Ellington and Juan Tizol, arranged by John Wasson.  SIJE, featuring Taylor Smith, ’12, alto sax.

I Hope in Time a Change Will Come.  Composed and arranged by Oliver Nelson.  SIJE, featuring Andy Singer, ’11, soprano sax.

Time after Time.  Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne.  Arranged for the Marty Paich Orchestra.  SIJE, featuring Elizabeth Goffe ’09, vocals, Ross Bell ’10, tenor sax.

I Mean You.  Composed by Thelonious Monk.  The Felix Klos Trio.  Felix Klos ’14, piano, Brian Parker ’14, bass, Joel Feier, ’13 drums.

Time after Time.  Lyrics by Sammy Cahn, music by Jule Styne.  The Felix Klos Trio.  Felix Klos ’14, piano, Brian Parker ’14, bass, Joel Feier, ’13 drums.