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December, 18, 2024
04:30 PM - 05:30 PM




Mark Dahl

Mark Dahl

Teaching Improvisation in the Big Band Setting

Clinic Synopsis:

The session will cover a step by step method for teaching improvisation within the big band rehearsal setting. Using the blues as a foundation, this method allows students to improvise immediately, while gradually incorporating ear training and jazz theory with digital patterns and jazz vocabulary to create individual solos. The method can be utilized by individuals or groups of all ages and ability levels, allowing directors to cultivate a user-friendly culture of improvisation.

Mark Dahl - Biographical Information

Mark Dahl holds a Bachelor's Degree in Saxophone Performance and a Master’s Degree in Music Education from Northern Illinois University. He also holds certification in Educational Leadership from Concordia University. He has studied conducting with Steven Squires and Dr. Ronnie Wooten and jazz pedagogy with Ron Carter. Mark is in his 25th year of teaching and his 20th year as Band Director and Assistant Division Chair for Fine Arts at Lyons Township High School in LaGrange, Illinois. Groups under his direction have been selected to perform at the Music for All National Concert Band Festival, Illinois Music Education State Conference, as finalists for the Illinois Superstate Band Festival and the Essentially Ellington Jazz Band Competition and Festival. In addition to his school responsibilities, Mark is a featured clinician for Carter’s Jazz Clinics and was a contributing author to Teaching Music Through Performance in Jazz, Volumes 2 and 3. He is author and creator of a video tutorial series for on teaching improvisation and has published several big band charts as part of this educational series. He has guest conducted several ILMEA all district jazz groups and was guest director of the All-State Jazz Band in Rhode Island and the All-State Jazz Band in Illinois. He has been on the staff of the Birch Creek Summer Jazz Camp and the Northern Illinois University Jazz Camp.