Jazz Band

Freed-Hardeman is excited to be launching a new jazz band in the Fall 2023 semester! Having a jazz band will allow music majors and other talented students to continue to apply and develop their musical skill at the university level. The jazz band will perform at various on-campus events such as Homecoming and basketball games. In addition, travel to area high schools and jazz festivals will be a part of the group’s schedule in the future.

The jazz band will utilize students who are competent in saxophone, trumpet, trombone, bass, keyboard, percussion, and/or other instruments as they are called for in the combo’s repertoire.

Scholarships will be offered to new and current FHU students for participation in the new band following auditions with the music faculty. Auditions will be conducted annually during Makin’ Music weekend in the Draughon Center for Musical Arts and by appointment. In-person auditions are preferred, however, auditions may be arranged via Zoom for those who may be unable to come to campus. If you are interested in auditioning for a scholarship, please click on the button below. Potential FHU students may also contact Dr. Yopp at myopp@fhu.edu.

Dr. Michael Yopp, associate professor of music, serves as the Director of the FHU Jazz Band. He was the director of bands at Warner University in Lake Wales, Florida, where he directed the marching band, pep band, concert band and jazz ensemble and was a member of the music education faculty. Prior to that, he taught at Webber International University in Lake Wales, where he created a full marching band, pep band, concert band and jazz ensemble.

He has also directed bands and taught in high schools. Most recently, he was director of bands at Middleton High School in Middleton, Tennessee, where he rebuilt the program and started multiple ensembles. In addition, he worked with Fort Meade Middle-Senior High School, Lake Wales Charter High School, Fayette Academy in Somerville, Tennessee, and Millington Central High School in Millington, Tennessee.

Yopp earned a B.A. in music education from the University of Memphis, an M.A. in music education from Adams State University, and a D.M.E. from Liberty University. Both his master’s thesis and his doctoral dissertation deal with the recruitment and retention of musicians for band programs.

Dr. Michael Yopp will serve as an associate professor of music and as the director of FHU’s new jazz ensemble.