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Liberal arts

MM Music Degree with Jazz Studies Concentration

NCCU’s stellar Jazz Studies faculty includes Dr. Ira Wiggins (Director, saxophone), Branford Marsalis (Artist-in-Residence, saxophone), Joey Calderazzo (Artist-in-Residence, piano), Brian Horton (saxophone), Arnold George (saxophone/vocal), Lenora Helm (vocal), Albert Strong (trumpet), Robert Trowers (trombone), Ed Paolantonio (piano), Baron Tymas (guitar), Damon Brown (bass) and Thomas Taylor (percussion). In addition to our faculty, some of the world’s greatest talents perform here with our students and their own groups. Just within the last year, artists such as Steve Wilson, Bobby Broom, Christian McBride, Nnenna Freelon and Jimmy Heath have graced our campus with performances and workshops. It is no surprise, then, that scores of recent alumni have been honored with IAJE all-star band spots, Kennedy Center Jazz Ahead Fellowship awards and touring spots with major artists. It is also no surprise that the NCCU Jazz Ensemble was the only student ensemble to play at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival.

Careers in This Field:


See scholarships available to NCCU Music majors.

Contact Information:

Brian Horton - Staff
Phone: (919) 530-6992
Office Location: 310 C. Ruth Edwards Music Hall
Contact Details: View Complete Profile or Download vCard

Baron Tymas - Associate Professor, Assistant Director of Jazz Studies
Phone: (919) 530-6343
Fax: (919) 530-7979
Office Location: 110/111 B.N. Duke Auditorium
Contact Details: View Complete Profile or Download vCard

Lenora Helm Hammonds - Assistant Professor
Phone: (919) 530-6653
Fax: (919) 530-7979
Office Location: 204 Edwards Music Building
Contact Details: View Complete Profile or Download vCard

Dr. Ira Wiggins - Director of Jazz Studies
Phone: (919) 530-6438
Fax: (919) 530-7979
Office Location: B10 C. Ruth Edwards Music Hall
Contact Details: View Complete Profile or Download vCard


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North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a state-supported liberal arts institution, was chartered in 1909 as a private institution and opened to students on July 10, 1910. It was founded by Dr. James E. Shepard. NCCU was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools as an “A” class institution in 1937 and was admitted to membership in that association in 1957. The General Assembly of 1939 authorized the establishment of graduate work in liberal arts and the professions. Pursuant thereto, graduate courses in the Arts and Sciences were first offered in that same year; the School of Law began operation in 1940, and the School of Library Science was established in 1941.

The School of Graduate Studies at NCCU is organized by subject matter departments which offer graduate instruction leading to advanced degrees. The School of Graduate Studies confers degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Behavioral and Social Sciences, School of Education, School of Library and Information Sciences, and School of Law.  The College of Arts and Sciences includes programs in the liberal arts and in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) disciplines.

The mission of the School of Graduate Studies is to provide world-class education and to produce leaders that are culturally sensitive and engaged in their respective fields of study.

School of Graduate Studies (SGS)
1801 Fayetteville Street
Taylor Education Building, Room 123
Durham, North Carolina 27707