Vocational education program Music (3321209) – jazz musician specialty.
RCCS is one of the first institutions that offers a vocational jazz music program that covers specialty (musical instrument or singing), jazz solfeggio, harmony, history and literature and improvisation, as well as providing an optional musical instrument learning (including mandatory percussion and bass guitar), ensemble playing, composition, arrangement and studies in electronic music.
The predominance of boys in elementary school is directed by the laws of nature – the limited lifetime of a boys’ vocal ability to sing in a choir. A professionally excellent boys’ choir will always take care to ensure a continued influx of new singers in the choir. The ensurement of such a reserve in elementary school is fundamental. In order to encourage the continued education outside of Choral Conducting specialty of musically gifted boys in later years and high school, RCCS developed from scratch, created and implemented the first Latvian professional development (evening) program in Contemporary Rhythm Music and in 2005 RCCS became the first school in Latvia to introduce a vocational education program Jazz Music. Both programs have been very successful and spots in the program are very sought after. Other students, influenced by their Jazz department student peers, have been more keen the significance of rhythm and improvisation in music as well as the advantages of the ability to play a variety of musical instruments later on in their careers.
Since autumn 2003, RCCS’ Contemporary Rhythm Music program has been a member if the International Association of Schools of Jazz (IASJ). The cooperation with IASJ has already provided the school with numerous international connections, and collaborative projects with a number of Jazz schools in European countries (Spain, the Netherlands, Denmark) have been started up. These projects include further education and distance learning of teachers and students, exchange trips, concerts and workshops. The manager of Contemporary Rhythm Music program participated in IASJ’s first jazz education conference in The Hague (the Netherlands) in November 2003, and a delegation from the Contemporary Rhythm Music program, which included both teachers and students, participated in the annual IASJ Jazz School seminar in Freiburg (Germany). In 2005, RCCS hosted the visit of Karlheinz Miklin – the president of IASJ – to Latvia. The students of RCCS’s Jazz department have participated in IASJ seminars in Krakow (Poland) in 2005 and Siena (Italy) in 2007.
The graduates of RCCS are represented in Latvian universities and prestigious foreign jazz schools alike, many of the students and alumni have already been absorbed in the professional music field of Latvia – Artis Locmelis, Nauris Strezs and Reinis Ozolins (Latvian Blues Band), the guitarist Marcis Auzins, the drummer Rudolfs Dankfelds and the bassist Toms Poss (City Jazz Bigband), the singers Daumants Kalnins, Julija Zakirova and Evilena Protektore.
Programme teachers are also Latvia’s leading jazz musicians – Inga Berzina, Talis Gzibovskis, Indrikis Veitners, Madars Kalnins, Zigmunds Zukovskis, Andrejs Jevsjukovs, Raitis Asmanis, Ugis Praulins etc.
Because of the professional level and the active artistic work of the teachers, the learning process is closely tied to practice – one of this educational programme’s objectives. A close cooperation with other schools of similar profile in Latvia has been established (Latvian Academy of Music, Riga Teacher Training and Educational Management Academy), as well as a long-standing cooperation with jazz schools abroad (Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, as well as Estonia and Lithuania).
Programme manager – Talis Gzibovskis.