The jazz program at Longwood includes two 18-piece ensembles and several small groups, under the overall coordination of Dr. Charles Kinzer, Professor of Music, and Andrew Brock, Instructor.
The Longwood Jazz Ensemble A was established in 1980. It is structured as a traditional big band, and its repertoire includes music from all periods of jazz history with emphasis on swing, Latin, and jazz-rock styles. Directed by Dr. Kinzer, it is open to all LU students by audition and presents a series of on- and off-campus concerts each year. The Jazz Ensemble A is made up primarily of students majoring in music. It meets twice each week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2:00 - 3:15 pm.
In recent years, the Jazz Ensemble A has performed in Norfolk, Richmond, Lynchburg, and throughout the Southside region of Virginia. In 2005 the group traveled to New York City for a performance at the Grace Plaza, near Times Square. Alumni from the Jazz Ensemble A have gone on to become professional performers in the Richmond and Northern Virginia areas, as well as earning graduate music degrees at such institutions as East Carolina University and the University of Maryland. The band performs once each year with a guest artist; recent guests have included John DeSalme (sax) of the U.S. Army jazz ensemble, and David Esleck, prominent Richmond-area pianist.
The Jazz Ensemble B was formed in 1996. Since 2006 it has been directed by saxophonist Andrew Brock, Instructor of Music. Open to all LU students, the Jazz Ensemble B is made up of a mix of music majors and non-majors. It performs on and off-campus, and has traveled to a number of high schools in Central Virginia in recent years. The Jazz Ensemble B plays a wide variety of music, ranging from swing to jazz-rock fusion. It meets on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm.