Jazz and Contemporary Music

Passionate about music? Serious about your future? Then consider our Jazz and Contemporary Music Program as your direct pathway to a successful career in the exciting world of professional music.

Degrees Offered: B.M. and A.S.
Offered on the Augusta Campus


About UMA Music

Enjoying a reputation as northern New England’s preeminent modern music education resource, UMA’s music program offers concentrations in Performance, Sonic Arts and Composition, Music Education and Audio Technology.

Our renowned faculty, progressive program content, multi-stylistic approaches, highly personalized instruction, technical facilities and extremely competitive tuition have made UMA the prime choice for dedicated, motivated music students with a contemporary focus.Jazz and popular music are in the foreground in a forward-thinking program that prizes individual creativity and contemporary musical thinking.

Our program also offers many benefits often absent at larger institutions: an optimum teacher to student ratio, small class size, highly personalized attention, supportive peer group, and easy commuting access. Simply put, UMA is a great place to become immersed in today's music, because the environment is nurturing, motivating and relaxed – a perfect mix for ensuring an enjoyable learning experience, year after year.

Once you graduate, the array of careers is limited only by your own creativity. Perhaps your desire is to perform regionally or nationally, become a studio session player, or compose popular tunes or symphonic works. Maybe teaching music courses in elementary, high school or college-level institutions is your direction. There is also the exciting world of music technology, with creative opportunities in recording, mastering, live sound, MIDI, broadcast media or sound track production. And for those with business interests, perhaps band and concert tour management, music and copyright law, promotion and marketing or even music instrument retail may be your career focus.

Whatever your direction, UMA’s music program will have you ready to play.

Jazz & Contemporary Music program brochure »(PDF document)

Program Highlights

UMA's Steve Grover awarded 2014 Arts Visibility Grant from the Maine Arts Commission

UMA's Steve Grover awarded 2014 Arts Visibility Grant

Steve GroverUMA Music faculty member and jazz composer/drummer Steve Grover was recently awarded a 2014 Arts Visibility Grant from the Maine Arts Commission to support the release of his new CD “Haiku”. The Maine Arts Commission is an independent state agency supported by The National Endowment For The Arts.

UMA's Steve Grover's new CD release

Featuring a stellar quartet of respected contemporary jazz artists, “Haiku” is the latest in a series of recordings that feature Grover’s own original compositions. In celebration of the new CD, Grover assembled Christine Correa, vocalist; Andrew Rathbun, saxophone; Frank Carlberg, piano; Sean Farias, bass; and Grover on drums for two recent performances: the first was at Bowdoin College on February 28, and another the following evening March 1 at The Portland Conservatory Of Music, sponsored by Dimensions In Jazz.  All of the musicians except Correa and Farias appear on the new CD. The program at each concert featured a generous selection of compositions from “Haiku”, as well as a portion of the song cycle “Blackbird Suite”, which won The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz/BMI Jazz Composers Competition in 1994.

In the liner notes to the CD, Grover cites the inspiration of the writers William Carlos Williams and Jack Kerouac, and goes on to say that “The music on this CD is an attempt to occupy a space between musical structures involving the use of language, and a freer musical language of the moment”.

Reviewing the CD for The Portland Phoenix, Sam Pfiefle writes, “It warrants your full attention…he deserves all the accolades, for the pieces he puts together as well as the musicians out of whom he coaxes great things…perhaps what Grover does best in his compositions is create moments where you can’t imagine anything else going on in the world but that particular instrument being played at that particular time.”

For more information about the CD Haiku by The Steve Grover Quartet, contact Steve at stevegrover@roadrunner.com

For the complete “Haiku” review, go to http://portland.thephoenix.com/music/157548-short-and-sweet/

Steve also got a mention in the Portland Press Herald!

UMA Jazz on Tour visits Foxcroft Academy, puts on outstanding performance

1-630x419UMA Jazz On Tour, a performing and touring ensemble representing the Jazz and Contemporary Music Program at the University of Maine at Augusta, visited Foxcroft Academy this morning to work with the Foxcroft Academy Jazz Band and put on an excellent performance at a schoolwide assembly.

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Beatles Get A Mindblowing Tribute

Sean Morin, UMA Songwriting Faculty Member (and Music Program graduate), featured in Rolling Stone as Music Director and guitarist in acclaimed Beatles performance. Sean, who transcribed all of the music and directed the rehearsals, is the guitarist on the left in the video at the bottom of the article.