GU Jazz Ensemble: A History

The first Georgetown dance band formed in 1944. Known then as the "Georgetown Rhythm Boys," five saxophones, three trumpets, two trombones, and a four-member rhythm section composed the band, which arose as entertainment for the depleted student body during World War II. Unfortunately, the Georgetown Rhythm Boys could not maintain enrollment, and the band disappeared after the spring of 1947. In September of 1948, however, a group of students came together and formed the Georgetown Collegians to fill the need for a non-marching band for campus dances. The Student Council of that academic year officially recognized the Collegians, which was a sect of the Georgetown Band, as the "official campus dance band," thus establishing the Collegians among the already popular musical groups the Glee Club, the Band, and the Chimes. Their on-campus popularity translated into requests for performances around the Washington, DC area, including a performance at Hickory Hill, Robert Kennedy's estate in Northern Virginia.

The Collegians continued to entertain the campus until the early 1980's when the interest among Band members fell, and as a result, a jazz band could not remain viable. In the 1986-1987 academic year enough Band members were interested for Director Ron Lignelli to establish the Georgetown Jazz Band. Finally, the Georgetown Jazz Band became its own separate organization with an exclusive director in 1994 as the members drafted and ratified a constitution.