Moving into new music styles, the University of Newcastle's Conservatorium will open its doors to more than 100 high school students for its first Jazz Improvisation Day.
Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 students from across the region will hear first hand examples of a range of jazz styles including Blues, Ragtime, Dixieland, Swing, Bebop, Cool, Free, Latin and Fusion.
Professor Richard Vella said the Conservatorium was eager to bring diverse styles of music - such as jazz - to the wider community.
"The Jazz Improvisation Day is key to our vision for the Conservatorium to embrace innovation and develop new audiences and styles," Professor Vella said.
"This new direction is already having a widespread impact with increased community involvement and popular music, improvisation, jazz and folk instruments now all part of the mix.
"The University's award-winning Chamber Choir is expanding its horizons to perform rock music in a nationally televised competition.
"Our Conservatorium is no longer just about appreciating the classical music genre, it is also about embracing creative musicianship in a diverse range of styles."
Following the workshops for high school students, the Hunter community is invited to see Mike Nock - one of Australia's most celebrated jazz pianists - present an evening performance at the Conservatorium. Tickets for this concert cost between $10 and $20 and are available from Ticketek on 02 4929 1977 or at the door.
The Jazz Improvisation Day will be held on Thursday 24 July 2008 in the Harold Lobb Concert Hall of the University of Newcastle's Conservatorium, Cnr Laman and Auckland Streets, Newcastle.
9.10am - Performance by Hunter School of Performing Arts Stage Band
9.50am - Jazz Styles Performance Masterclass
11.10am - Jazz Improvisation Workshop with the Andy Firth Stage Band
8pm - Mike Nock Trio concert