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Berkeley’s Jazzschool earns conservatory accreditation – Inside Bay Area

By Zoe Young Oakland Tribune Correspondent

Laurie Antonioli

Laurie Antonioli, left, vocal performance instructor, works with students Rose Cristman, right, and Kyra Gordon as drummer Bryan Bowman and bassist John Wiitala accompany during private lessons at the former The Jazzschool Institute, now called California Jazz Conservatory, in Berkeley on Feb. 26, 2014. (Ray Chavez/Staff)

In this new incarnation the Jazzschool will be renamed the California Jazz Conservatory, with the nondegree program called the Jazzschool Community Music School at CJC. The conservatory is now the only free-standing accredited university in the nation devoted solely to the study and performance of jazz music.

Jazzschool founding President Susan Muscarella made the announcement after a four-year application process that required the Jazzschool faculty to educate and graduate three bachelor’s students.

“NASM evaluated our application by evaluating the progress our graduates had made,” Muscarella said. “You can’t just fill out an application and say, ‘You know, I’d like to be accredited today.’ You have to take a minimum of three students through your proposed course of study.”

The original CJC graduates have now received official degrees retroactively in light of the finalized accreditation. The institution now has 60 students enrolled in the degree program for the fall, though Muscarella projects higher numbers. The maximum number of students it can enroll is 120, “with 30 to 35 in each grade level,” she said.

To read complete article and to see additional photos, visit www.insidebayarea.com.

JCMS – SUMMER