College Jazz Orchestra – the Big Band of the University of Mannheim!

The big band of the University of Mannheim, known as the College Jazz Orchestra, consists of 20 musicians and offers a comprehensive program which is renewed and extended every semester. Its leader is Jochen Welsch. In addition to big band classics by Count Basie, Duke Ellington and Peter Herbolzheimer, the band’s repertoire also includes swing compositions from film and pop music, as well as funk songs by Tower of Power. The musicians are mostly students of the university, but some graduates are also part of the band.

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Take part! Big band rehearsals in the fall semester 2021

Whether and in what way big band rehearsals can take place in the coming semester due to the pandemic situation will probably only become clear in the course of the fall semester. Therefore, the big band of the University of Mannheim will again offer an online course in the fall semester 2021. The course is not only for members of the current College Jazz Orchestra, but also for new interested persons. It will be held via Zoom in small groups with up to six persons, however, depending on the current situation, it can take place in person as well. In addition, interested players are already welcome to register for the big band.

Course contents and schedule
Through ensemble playing, participants gain insight into the way jazz and pop musicians think and work. Jazz-pop related contents are taught through electronic play along applications (iReal-Pro) and a combination of seminar (lecture, discussion, listening) and exercises (playing, singing, clapping). The organization of the course is based on the possibilities and interests of the participants. Therefore, the units can be adjusted accordingly. The extent to which participants engage practically depends on their prior theoretical knowledge and playing skills. Playing together is not possible due to technical circumstances, but all participants can play along individually with the playback.

Overview of the course contents:

  • Jazz history
  • Jazz harmony
  • Stylistic studies
  • Timing
  • Rhythmics
  • Groove
  • Feel
  • Introduction to improvisation
  • Insights into the direction of the jazz ensemble

When does the course take place?
The course takes place on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. and additionally on weekend dates agreed upon by the group from October to December.

Who can participate?
Saxophonists, trombonists, trumpeters, pianists, guitarists, vibraphonists, bassists, drummer/percussionists and vocalists are always welcome to join.

How do I join?
If you are interested, you can contact Jochen Welsch, the director of the big band, until 13 September 2021.

About Us

Here you can learn more about the big band of the University of Mannheim and its leader Jochen Welsch as well as the singer Stefan Ebert.


Please send your booking requests to:

Jochen Welsch, jwelsch(at)mail.uni-mannheim


We want to thank the following groups for their support:

University of Mannheim
President’s Office of the University of Mannheim
Service and Marketing GmbH of the University of Mannheim
Studium Generale