Music Performance - Jazz Emphasis

Our unique jazz curriculum integrates foundational training in the classical tradition with private instruction and coursework in jazz idioms.

  • We offer performance experiences in both large and small ensemble settings. These include Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Workshop, Vocal Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, and Jazz Chamber Groups. Courses include improvisation, harmony, arranging, ear training, and history.
  • The Institute of Entertainment, Music, and Media Arts (IEMMA) allows you to engage in real-world and online activities while connecting creatively with other students and building dynamic relationships with industry-leading professionals.
  • Our students receive exposure and training that encompasses commercial music (pop, Latin, and other world music styles), and includes experiences in the recording studio using notation software and digital audio workstations to compose and arrange.
  • Duquesne's close association with the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and nearly a dozen area jazz clubs provides a variety of opportunities for students to perform with and learn from nationally-known visiting artists.
  • Our graduates succeed.

Our Jazz Emphasis is designed to equip you to thrive in a variety of professional roles in today's ever-changing world of commercial music, of which jazz is an integral part.

View the 2023–2024 Curriculum

Audition Overview

Admission to the Mary Pappert School of Music also includes a formal audition. Learn more about the audition process & guidelines.

Program Type




Academic Department

Contemporary Music Media and Jazz



Required Credit Hours


Alumni Perspective

Alex Luketich playing the piano.

The Mary Pappert School of Music jazz faculty is exceptional at providing real-world training through their combined years of knowledge of many different types of jazz music and ample experience playing with major and storied artists from the jazz world. With their guidance, I have found myself thoroughly prepared for any type of musical work that I have come across in my career!

Alex Luketich B.M. Performance, 2020

Program Directors

Mike Tomaro

Program Director of Jazz Studies; Professor of Jazz Saxophone

Mike Tomaro plays a tenor saxophone.

Jeff Bush

Assistant Program Director of Jazz Studies; Adjunct Professor of Trombone

Jeff Bush holds a trombone and poses for a headshot.

Performance Facilities

Students and faculty of the Mary Pappert School of Music participate in over 200 annual concerts and recitals, held both on- and off-campus in a variety of venues. PNC Recital Hall and the Dr. Thomas D. Pappert Center for Performance and Innovation are two of the primary performances spaces in our building. In addition, some larger-scale events are held in other University spaces, including the Charles J. Dougherty Ballroom in the University's Power Center, the Student Union Ballroom, and the Chapel of the Holy Spirit, to name a few.

Dedicated in 2001, the PNC Recital Hall provides an intimate performance space for faculty and student recitals, as well as small chamber group performances, and comfortably seats an audience of 250. The stage is large enough to accommodate a small orchestra, and the live acoustics make it ideal for chamber music and solo performance. The hall is equipped with two Model D nine-foot Steinway concert grand pianos that are among the finest in the Pittsburgh region, as well as a 2-manual harpsichord by Anderson H. Dupree. A built-in audio/visual system enables technology students to present multimedia performance projects complete with video projection and surround sound.

Explore PNC Recital Hall

Audience Perspective

Stage Perspective

PNC Recital Hall performances can be recorded in both audio and video from a dedicated recording room backstage via a remote-controlled high definition PTZ camera, as well as a pair of DPA Compact 4011 cardioid microphones and a spaced pair of DPA SMK4061 omnidirectional microphones suspended above the stage. The recital hall stage can also be tied into the adjacent Recording Complex for more involved multi-track recording sessions. Acoustics can be varied by retracting or deploying the heavy draperies surrounding the stage, and the stage is fully equipped with several movable acoustic shell panels.

See the PNC Recital Hall in Concert


Each year, many students and faculty utilize the PNC Recital Hall for recitals and concerts. In addition, the room also doubles as a classroom/lecture space for larger classes and guest artist master classes. A portable SMART board for high-definition, interactive presentations is available for use in both the PNC Recital Hall and the PNC Recital Hall lobby.

PNC Recital Hall Lobby

The PNC Recital Hall Lobby is a multi-purpose space acoustically isolated from the recital hall and is equipped for hosting receptions with an adjacent kitchen. Two large-screen televisions and a sound system capable of simulcasting live events inside the hall are also available.

In addition, the lobby is routinely used as a classroom (movement classes, such as Eurhythmics), making use of a concealed whiteboard and the aforementioned audio/visual amenities.

Explore PNC Recital Hall Lobby

The Dr. Thomas D. Pappert Center for Performance and Innovation provides our students and faculty with a technologically sophisticated and acoustically superb space. Designed and built for the optimal sound experience, the Pappert Center incorporates visionary thinking in acoustic engineering and is equipped with the latest audio/visual and recording technologies. This resource inspires our students and faculty to achieve the highest levels of creativity and artistry in their musical ventures.

Presentations and performances can be captured digitally in both high definition video and audio. These captures can be used for packaging media and streaming broadcasts for internet, television, and radio. In addition to its versatility as a performance and recording venue, the Pappert Center also serves as a rehearsal space for several of our large ensembles, including the Duquesne Symphony Orchestra, Wind Symphony, and Symphony Band, and can also be adapted to serve as a classroom/lecture space for classes and clinics with larger numbers of students.

Explore the Pappert Center

Instead of a raised stage that limits open space, roughly one-third of the Pappert Center's floor is finished in a hardwood "stage." Theatrical lighting, a variety of seating arrangements, and a high-tech audio/visual system, including a 16-foot video projection screen and surround sound audio, complete the transformation from a rehearsal space to a performance venue that can seat over 100 people.

Inside the Pappert Center, you will have the ability to utilize one of our four Model D Steinway grand pianos, as well as easy access to the instrumental music library. Percussion studios and storage are also directly adjacent, making for easy setup/teardown.

The Pappert Center is directly tied into the William M. Schrecengost Memorial Mastering Suite where concerts, recitals, and rehearsals can be captured, recorded, and prepared for critical listening purposes, enhancing the experience of those studying state-of-the-art techniques in digital audio, video production, and broadcast media.

Many of our ensembles regularly perform off-campus in some of Pittsburgh's most notable halls, auditoriums, and churches, including:

  • Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland
  • Heinz Hall (home of the GRAMMY Award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)
  • August Wilson Center
  • Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall
  • Twentieth Century Club
  • Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall
  • St. Paul Cathedral
  • St. Mary of the Mount Parish

Other notable venues outside of Pittsburgh in which our ensembles have had the opportunity to perform have included both Carnegie Music Hall and Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola at Lincoln Center in New York City, as well as many other prestigious venues around the country. The Voices of Spirit travel regularly, recently performing in various venues in Canada.

As a student of the Mary Pappert School of Music, you will have access to over 60 practice/rehearsal spaces throughout the building. These spaces are equipped with amenities including Steinway pianos, full-length mirrors, and music stands. Large ensemble rooms and classrooms are also available by request.

Standard Practice Room

Piano Major Practice Rooms

If your applied instrument is piano, you will be granted access to a suite of practice rooms equipped with Steinway baby grand pianos. In addition, one of the piano major practice rooms includes two pianos. The piano practice rooms often double as rehearsal spaces for accompanied instrumental or vocal works. Accompanists and students in the collaborative piano program often use these spaces to prepare for student recitals.

Matty and Eddie Shiner Practice Rooms

On the lowest level of the Mary Pappert School of Music, there is a suite of acoustically-enhanced practice rooms that are larger than standard practice rooms, allowing you to conduct small group rehearsals. These rooms are equipped with Steinway upright pianos and were renovated through the generous gifts of donors who wished to preserve the memory of Matty and Eddie Shiner, renowned trumpet and trombone artists who taught thousands of Duquesne brass students over their years of service.

The Jazz Studio is equipped with a drumset, baby grand piano, guitar/bass amps, and a digital piano/synth workstation that is used for private instruction and small combo rehearsals.

Upcoming Jazz Events

A silhouette of the Pittsburgh skyline.

Uptown Jazz Series: Compositions & Arrangements of the DU Jazz Faculty

Mike Tomaro & Jeff Bush, Artistic Directors For those of you who attended last year’s...

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  • Mary Pappert School of Music
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A saxophone soloist performs.

The Music of the 1970s

Duquesne University Jazz EnsembleJeff Bush, Assistant Program Director of Jazz StudiesVocal...

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  • Charles J. Dougherty Ballroom, Power Center
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Student plays a guitar.

Jazz Guitar Ensemble

Eric Susoeff, director Admission $10 Suggested Donation (cash only at the door)

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  • Mary Pappert School of Music
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Students rehearse.

Jazz Chamber Groups

Jeff Bush, Assistant Program Director of Jazz Studies Admission $10 Suggested Donation...

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  • Mary Pappert School of Music
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A saxophone soloist performs.

Duquesne University Jazz Ensembles

Featuring Jazz Ensemble & Jazz WorkshopJeff Bush, Assistant Program Director of Jazz...

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  • Mary Pappert School of Music
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