Announcing The Gretchen Valade Graduate Teaching Assistantship in Jazz

The Gretchen Valade Graduate Teaching Assistantship in Jazz
Department of Music
Wayne State University, Detroit, MI


The Gretchen Valade Endowed Scholarship in Jazz Studies is a Graduate Teaching Assistantship (GTA) to support jazz education and jazz performance in the Department of Music and the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center at Wayne State University.

Fall 2017 will be the inaugural semester of the Gretchen Valade Graduate Student Assistantship in Jazz. Gretchen Valade is a life-long supporter of Detroit with a deep passion for jazz and the performers who create this quintessential American music.

She is the primary sponsor of the Detroit Jazz Festival, founder and owner of the Dirty Dog Jazz Café and Mack Avenue Records.  Her love of jazz and the traditions of Detroit jazz have been central to preserving and promoting this cultural tradition.  She is recognized throughout the international jazz world as one of the most important and visionary patrons of this art form.   

The GTA will be awarded to an outstanding graduate student pursuing the Masters of Music in Jazz Performance.  Applicants should submit (application, audition, interview, and review of scores/recordings as appropriate.)  Selection of the GTA will be competitive based on the assessment of the faculty.

The recipient will work approximately 20 hours a week on projects in jazz performance/educational and promotion associated with the Gretchen Valade Jazz Center. [LL1] Depending on the recipient’s experience and background, the GTA may also be assigned composing/arranging for Jazz ensembles and teaching/assisting combos, big band, jazz history, improvisation, theory, jazz arranging or other Jazz Studies program activities undergraduate courses.  

Per WSU Graduate School policy and the GEOC/AFT contract, the student is expected to work an average 20 hours per week over the course of a semester. The student must be enrolled in a minimum of 6 graduate credits per semester in Fall and Winter in order to remain eligible for this assistantship.

Graduate Student Assistantships may be renewed up to two years contingent upon satisfactory academic and job performance.  Assistants must also comply with all applicable Wayne State policies and procedures.


1) Complete Graduate School Application 

2) Register for audition/interview

3) Send letter of interest with sample of work audio CD/CDR and/or sample score(s) to demonstrate artistic accomplishment to:

Dr. Joshua Duchan
Interim Graduate Officer Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Music
Wayne State University
Suite 1321 Old Main.
Detroit, MI 48202

First-year, nine-month contracts provides a stipend of $18,534.

In addition, students receive a full tuition scholarship up to 10 graduate credits per Fall and Winter semester as well as medical, dental and vision packages for a total package up to per year. 

Appointment Begins   August 17, 2017 


Bachelor’s degree in music, 3.0 GPA and unconditional admission to the Graduate College.
Candidates must present an audition and a campus interview.


January 27, 2017
February 24, 2017
May 12, 2017

To be assured of consideration, candidates should complete the application and campus audition/interview by May 14, 2017.

WSU - Our Students
Nearly 28,000 students call themselves Wayne State Warriors. WSU (a Carnegie I Research Institution) is home to students from nearly every state and 60 countries — the most diverse student body among Michigan’s 15 public universities and a microcosm of the real world.

One of the oldest jazz studies degree programs in the country, Wayne State's Department of Music offers a Bachelor of Music in jazz studies and a Master of Music in jazz performance. With an emphasis on composition, arranging, and improvisation, the WSU jazz program challenges students in a competitive and rewarding environment in the heart of Detroit’s Midtown Cultural Center. The jazz faculty is comprised of the leading jazz artists in the region who embody the extensive Detroit jazz tradition. Past WSU Students include; Kenny Burrell, Joe Henderson, Yusef Lateef, Pepper Adams, Donald Byrd, Rick Margitza, Alex Graham, Todd Carlon, and Nate Winn.

Wayne State has played host to a vast array of visiting jazz clinicians, including Joshua Redman, Pat Metheny, Randy Weston, Branford Marsalis, Joe Lovano, Chick Corea, John Clayton, Jon Faddis, Elvin Jones, Steve Houghton, Dave Liebman, Kenny Werner, Fareed Haque, Marvin Stam, and Woody Shaw. The Wayne State student Big Band performs regularly with many of these artists throughout Detroit and globally - Most recently, members of the WSU Big Band performed at the Panama Jazz Festival with Danilo Perez as part of the Detroit Panamanian Big Band.

For specific program information, contact Christopher Collins, Director of Jazz Studies at 

The Department of Music cultivates music as a contemporary and global art, grounded in a long historical tradition, by combining higher education with professional training and experience for its undergraduate and graduate/professional students.

The Department offers students of music opportunities to learn, grow, and develop their skills and disciplines in an urban cultural setting. With close proximity to Detroit's cultural center, students have access to the resources of such premiere institutions as the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Public Library, the Detroit Opera House, and Orchestra Hall. The long historical relationship between the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Department allows students to study and coach with exceptional guest artists and resident artist-faculty who are specialists in all musical styles and media.

Building on the strengths of its geographic and cultural setting, the Department maintains public access to its performances and degree programs, offers high-level professional and academic standards and unique creative and scholarly opportunities appropriate to a large research university, and cultivates a deep aesthetic understanding of music in our students and the larger urban arts community.