Skip to main content


December, 20, 2024
04:15 PM - 05:30 PM




University Jazz Ensemble


Conductor Thumb
Charles "Chip" McNeill

Performer Details

Performer Bio Synopsis

University of Illinois Concert Jazz band Chip McNeill-Director For over Sixty years, the University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band has established a reputation for excellence through performances in Europe, the Soviet Union, and throughout the United States. The University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band under the direction of Professor McNeill has been invited to IAJE performances in NYC and Montreal, JEN performances in Dallas, Atlanta and Louisville, Midwest Clinic performances, numerous jazz festival performances including The North Texas Jazz Festival (where they won the Dr. Gene Hall award for best big band), The Notre Dame Collegiate Jazz Festival, The Elmhurst Jazz Festival and the Northern Colorado Jazz Festival to name a few. Other Significant Past performances include the the Mobile Jazz Festival, the Intercollegiate Jazz Festival at St. Louis, The Millikin Jazz Festival and The Purdue Jazz Festival. The group also has numerous CD recordings available for sale the latest of which is a CD featuring the U of I jazz faculty and the CJB performing the music of Park “Pepper” Adams-legendary jazz baritone saxophonist. Also a double CD entitled “Freeplay” which garnered critical acclaim. All the compositions and arrangements on “Freeplay” were written by members of the ensemble and some of the compositions/arrangements have won awards including the JEN conference best student jazz composition/arrangement award at the 2011and 2014 JEN conference and an ASCAP best composition award for 2011. The band was also invited to perform at the 2012 and 2014 and 2018 JEN conferences in Louisville, KY and Dallas, TX, the 65th Midwest band and orchestra clinic for 2011 in Chicago, IL and has previously been invited to perform at the IAJE conferences in New York and Toronto, Canada. The 2018 JEN conference performance featured Doc Severinsen, Ernie Watts and U of I Jazz faculty member Jim Pugh. Original compositions and arrangements by members of the band are featured on the band’s earlier CD’s “Get Here Sooner”, and “As of Yet” and our double CD, “Freeplay”. In addition, the band features downbeat student award winners in jazz vocal performance (most recently a 2019 collegiate vocal jazz Downbeat student award winner and winner of the Ella Fitzgerald 2019 vocal jazz competition) jazz instrumental performance winners as well as Jazz arranging/composition winners.

University of Illinois Concert Jazz Band

Conductor's Bio