The Memorial University Jazz Ensemble studies and performs the big band repertoire of important figures in the history of jazz ensemble composition and arranging. This includes writers/arrangers of the past (e.g. Thad Jones, Rob McConnell), as well as current writers/arrangers (e.g. Bob Brookmeyer, Fred Sturm, Mark Taylor, Bob Mintzer).
Through the study of big band repertoire members of the ensemble cultivate musical skills such as reading, stylistic concepts, and improvisation. The ensemble also seeks to develop the students as professional performers and educators through learning and performance excellence in a positive music-making environment. Encouraging creative thought and artistic interaction is a priority. Membership is open to students from within and outside the School, upon audition.
As well as its performances at the School of Music, the Memorial University Jazz Ensemble performs at various events throughout St. John's including the Newfoundland Symphony Orchestra's Fall Gala concert. The MUN Jazz Ensemble is directed by award winning jazz pianist, percussionist, and composer Bill Brennan.