Youth Jazz Orchestra
The Hudson Valley Youth Jazz Orchestra (HVYJO) provides the region's top student musicians an opportunity to collaborate and perform in a college preparatory ensemble.
Since 2020 former students of HVYJO have gone on to study music at:
Manhattan School of Music, Berkelee College Of Music, University of North Texas College of Music,
Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Boyer College of Music at Temple University, Ithaca College School of Music,
SUNY Fredonia, Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam,
SUNY Binghamton, Setnor School of Music at Syracuse University, SUNY Purchase, Columbia University,
William Patterson, Steinhardt School of Music at New York University and
the The Glenn Gould School is The Royal Conservatory of Music.
Students work with some of the world's finest guest artists and clinicians in the Tri-state area. Previous guests have included; Steve Wilson, Dennis Mackrel, Conrad Herwig, Jim Snidero, Michael Phillip Mossman, Chris Vadala, Terell Stafford, Roland Vazquez, Steven Feifke, Steve Bernstein, Craig Handy, Steve Cardenas, Mimi Jones, Ben Perowsky, and Gary Smulyan.
Students also have the opportunity to work with our region's top working jazz musicians and educators including: Bob Shaut, Roland Vazquez, Tristen Napoli, Jeff "Siege" Siegel, Rich Syracuse, Matt Finck, Laurel Massé, Eric Iannucci, Peter Einhorn and more.In our first competition (2019's Essentially Ellington Regional Festival)
HVYJO has performed side by side with professional guest ensembles including the Analog Jazz Orchestra,
the Steven Bernstein Quintet and the Roland Vazquez Nonet (2024)
HVYJO has worked with professional audio engineers for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Essentially Ellington competition and with GRAMMY award nominated producer, Professor Louie.
In our first competition (2019's Essentially Ellington Regional Festival) HVYJO was selected as best trombone section and also had several students selected as outstanding soloists. HVYJO is based out of Kingston, NY.
Music Director Dan Shaut, received his master’s degree in saxophone performance at the University of Maryland in 2003 and his bachelor’s degree in music education at Ithaca College in 2001. He has studied with Steve Mauk, Steve Brown, Chris Vadala and Dale Underwood.
As a performer Shaut currently leads several jazz groups and continues to collaborate with musicians of all different styles from the GRAMMY nominated Americana/blues band “Professor Louie and the Crowmatix” to symphonic orchestras. In June of 2017, Shaut was the featured soloist with the Ellenville Chamber players in a performance of the classic jazz album “Focus” in its entirety. Shaut fulfilled a lifelong dream of filling in for one of his musical heroes – Stan Getz.
In the fall of 2017 Shaut accepted the role of Director of Bands at Highland High School where he directs the high school concert band and jazz ensembles. In addition, Shaut was named (co)director of the SUNY Ulster Jazz Ensemble which has partnered with Shaut’s hvJAZZ youth ensembles. As artistic and managing director of hvJAZZ, Shaut has founded an annual summer jazz program and the yearlong Hudson Valley Youth Jazz Orchestra. Participating students in the hvJAZZ program have studied and performed with GRAMMY award winning jazz musicians including; Terrell Stafford, Chris Vadala, Gary Smulyan, John Mosca, and Dennis Mackrel.
For over a decade, Shaut taught instrumental music in the Kingston (NY) City School District, where he directed elementary and middle school bands as well as the high school jazz band. In fall 2010, he assumed the leadership role for the award-winning Kingston High School Jazz Ensemble. He has also served as adjunct professor of music at the College of St. Rose in Albany for 12 years and, for the past 9 years, in the same capacity at SUNY Ulster. He has taught music majors and minors at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Shaut has been selected by the music educators associations of Dutchess, Orange and Ulster Counties to lead workshops for music educators or direct honor youth ensembles. An annual highlight for Shaut is being on faculty at his alma mater for the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy. At SMA he has taught saxophone lessons and masterclasses, improvisation workshops, co-directed the jazz ensemble and, in 2017, directed the Wind Ensemble.
In addition, Shaut leads a very active private studio in which many students have been selected for NYSSMA All-State High School Jazz Ensemble and Wind Ensemble; NYSBDA All-State High School Jazz Ensemble and Concert Band and All-State Middle School Band; and All-County elementary, junior high and high school bands and jazz ensembles. Three of his students have been selected to perform as members of the Kingston High School Jazz Ensemble in the Essentially Ellington Competition at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where they had the privilege of playing alongside the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Shaut’s students have also been selected to study at many of the premiere music schools in the northeast.
He spent three years as a freelance musician and continues to perform professionally. Following a North American collegiate search, he was selected as a member of the Walt Disney World Saxophone Quintet in 2001, and spent that summer performing in Orlando. In summer 2002, he was the tenor sax soloist with the award-winning Starlight Orchestra at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg (VA). As a member of the Maryland Saxophone Quartet, he toured Brazil in summer 2003, where he performed with Dale Underwood; and he’s performed with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons as well. He appears on a 2005 recording by composer and trumpeter Rusty Dedrick, a 2014 CD by Sax Life entitled “The Saxophone and The Drum,” a CD by the Hudson Valley Saxophone Orchestra called "It's That Time Again..." and a 2015 album called “Jazz for Christmas Time” recorded by the Napoli/Shaut Sextet.