azzara_christopher

Christopher D. Azzara

Professor of Music Education

Affiliate Faculty, Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media
Chair, Music Education Department

Departments:
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Biography

Pianist, arranger, author, and educator, Christopher Azzara has made important contributions to advancing the understanding of creativity and improvisation in the music learning process. An innovator in the area of music teaching and learning, Dr. Azzara is Professor and Chair of Music Education and Affiliate Faculty of Jazz Studies and Contemporary Media at the Eastman School of Music. Teaching and performing internationally, he is the author of numerous articles, arrangements, and books, including Developing Musicianship Through Improvisation, Creativity In Improvisation, and Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series (GIA). His arrangements for instrumental and vocal ensembles include A la nanita nana for choir and chamber orchestra or piano (Oxford), and Concert Selections for Winds and Percussion (GIA). His research and publications are concerned with meaningful relationships among listening, creating, improvising, reading, composing, and analyzing music in vocal and instrumental settings. Dr. Azzara’s work has appeared in journals such as the Journal of Research in Music Education, the Music Educators Journal, Early Childhood Connections, and in The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning (MENC/Oxford). He performs as a soloist and in various ensembles, including the Chris Azzara Quartet, and has played on and produced many studio and educational recordings. In Rochester, he performs with free-lance musicians, members of the Eastman School of Music faculty, and members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. An active teacher and clinician, he has taught and performed extensively throughout the United States, and in Canada, the Caribbean, Germany, France, Lithuania, Poland, Japan, and Australia. He has presented clinics and workshops in a variety of settings, including TEDxRochester, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and leading music schools in this country and abroad.

Christopher Azzara is a native of Virginia and attended public schools in Fairfax County. After receiving the Bachelor of Music degree from George Mason University, he taught instrumental music in the Fairfax County Public Schools and performed as a pianist in the Washington D.C. area. He later received a Master of Music and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music. Prior to joining the Eastman faculty, Dr. Azzara was a professor at The Hartt School of Music, Dance, and Theatre of the University of Hartford, CT.

Works / Publications

Selected Works and Publications:

Christopher Azzara on TED Talks

Azzara, Christopher D., Grunow, Richard F. Developing Musicianship through Improvisation.
Book/CDs 1 for Strings. Chicago: G.I.A Publications, Inc., 2011. Books include: 1) Violin, 2) Viola, and 3) Cello/Bass.

Azzara, Christopher D., Grunow, Richard F. Developing Musicianship through Improvisation.
Book/CDs 1, 2, & 3, Chicago: G.I.A Publications, Inc. (2006, 2010) Books include: 1) Vocal – Treble Clef, Bass Clef 2) Instrumental – Treble Clef, Bass Clef, Bb, Eb, and F Instruments.

The recordings for this publication include performances with members of the Eastman School of Music Faculty, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and various free-lance musicians:

  • Christopher Azzara, Piano, Musical Director
  • Gene Bertoncini, Bob Sneider, Guitar
  • Aleck Brinkman, Jeff Campbell, Bass
  • John Beck, Mike Melito, Drums/Percussion
  • Mark Filsinger, David Hart, Clay Jenkins, Mike Kaupa, Trumpet
  • Al Regni, Ramon Ricker, Alto Saxophone
  • Kirsten Edkins, Jose Encarnacion, Ramon Ricker, Walt Weiskopf, Tenor Saxophone
  • Shirantha Beddage, Baritone Saxophone
  • Mark Kellogg, Trombone
  • Lisa Azzara, Karl-Erik Jansson, Jamie Jordan, Luann Saunders, Vocals

Azzara, Christopher D. (2008). Improvisation and Choral Musicianship. The School Choral Program: Philosophy, Planning, Organizing, and Teaching. (M. Holt & J. Jordan, Eds.) Chicago: G.I.A. Publications, Inc.

Azzara, Christopher D. A La Nanita Nana.
Arranged for Children-s Choir, Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, and Clarinet. (2006)

Azzara, Christopher D. A La Nanita Nana.
Companion piece arranged for Choir (SATB), Violin 1, Violin 2, Viola, Cello, Bass, Flute, and Clarinet. (2006)

Co-author and Pianist for Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series, Solo Book/CD 1-A and Solo Book/CD 1-B.
Chicago: G.I.A. Publications, Inc. (2006)
Eight Books and CDs: 1) Violin; 2) Viola; 3) Cello; 4) Bass.
(Grunow, Richard F., Gordon, Edwin E., Azzara, Christopher D., Martin, Michael E., Jump Right In: The Instrumental Series for Strings.)

The recordings for these publications include performances with members of the Eastman School of Music Faculty, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and various free-lance musicians:

  • Christopher Azzara, Piano, Musical Director – Eastman School of Music
  • Gene Burtoncini, Guitar – Free-lance musician, New York, NY
  • Bob Sneider, Guitar – Eastman School of Music
  • Jeff Campbell, Bass – Eastman School of Music
  • John Beck, Percussion – Eastman School of Music
  • Marissa Regni, Violin – Principal Second Violin, National Symphony Orchestra
  • George Taylor, Viola – Eastman School of Music
  • Mimi Hwang, Cello – Free-lance musician and instructor of chamber music, Eastman School of Music
  • James Vandemark, Bass – Eastman School of Music

Azzara, Christopher D. (2002). Improvisation. In “The New Handbook of Research on Music Teaching and Learning.” New York: Oxford University Press

For more information on Dr. Azzara’s publications, visit G.I.A. Publications.

Engagements / Professional Activities

2013

October 9-11, 2013
Christopher Azzara
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Classes, Performances, and Research Presentations
Musikhochschule
Hamburg, Germany

October 12-13, 2013
Christopher Azzara
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Classes, Performances, and Research Presentations
Musikhochschule
Mannheim, Germany

October 17, 2013
Christopher Azzara
Headliner
Capital District Music Educators Conference
Albany, NY

November 18, 2013
Christopher Azzara, Piano
Concert Performance
Mark Kellogg Recital
Kilbourn Hall
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
http://www.esm.rochester.edu

December 5-7, 2013
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation at the Core of Music Teaching and Learning
New York State School Music Association Conference
Rochester, NY
http://www.nyssma.org

2014

January 23-24, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation in Instrumental Music
Duquesne University
Pittsburgh, PA
Paul Doerksen
doerksenp@duq.edu

February 6-8, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Ohio Music Education Association (OMEA)
Headliner; 3 Sessions:
Teaching Improvisation: How to Get Started
Learning to Read: Music Literacy Beyond the Page
How Was My Solo? Learning to Improvise Meaningful Solos
Columbus, OH
http://www.omea-ohio.org/index.html

March 8, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation: Music Literacy Beyond the Page
New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA)
33rd Annual Symposium
Liverpool, NY
Brian K. Doyle
doylebk@potsdam.edu

March 15, 22, & 29 2014
Christopher Azzara
3 Sessions for the Eastman Community Music School (ECMS)
Session 1 (Saturday, March 15, 1:00pm – 2:30pm, ESM Room 120)
Improvisation: How to Get Started
Session 2 (Saturday, March 22, 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Messinger One)
Repertoire as Inspiration for Improvisation: Six Elements and Seven Skills for Learning to Improvise
Session 3 (Saturday, March 29, 1:00pm – 2:30pm, Messinger One)
Making Connections: Listen – Improvise – Read – Compose
Eastman Community Music School
Rochester, NY
Howard Potter
hpotter@esm.rochester.edu

March 21, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation:
Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
Professional Development
East Greenbush Central School District
East Greenbush, NY
Scott Halliday
HallidaySc@egcsd.org

April 24, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation:
Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
Professional Development
Hershey Public Schools
Hershey, PA
tamiller@hershey.k12.pa.us

May 2, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation:
Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
Professional Development
Washington, DC Public Schools
Washington, DC
Ben Hall
ben.hall@dc.gov

June 4-7, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Piano Performance/House Rhythm Section
International Trombone Festival (ITF)
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
John Marcellus & Mark Kellogg
http://www.trombone.net

June 30, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Creativity and Improvisation:
Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
CBDNA Conference on Music Education
“Preparing the 21st Century Artist Teacher”
Ithaca College
Ithaca, NY
Mark Fonder
fonder@ithaca.edu

July 14-18, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Instrumental Methods and Techniques
Developing Musicianship through Improvisation
Gordon College
Wenham, MA
Sandra Doneski
Sandra.Doneski@gordon.edu

July 21-August 1, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Instrumental Methods and Techniques
Developing Musicianship in Instrumental Music
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
Sylvie Beaudette
sbeaudette@esm.rochester.edu

July 28-29, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Concert Performance and Workshop
Eastman Trombone Institute
with Mark Kellogg, Jim Martin
Eastman School of Music
Rochester, NY
Sylvie Beaudette
sbeaudette@esm.rochester.edu

September 14, 2014
Christopher Azzara
Creativity at the Core:
Inspiration and Meaning for Music Teaching and Learning
Donald Hodges Lecture Series
University of Texas at San Antonio
San Antonio, TX
Susan Dill
susan.dill@utsa.edu