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Phone him at (814) 867-9935.


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State College, PA

(814) 867-9935

Rick Hirsch is a nationally-known composer, arranger and jazz educator living in State College, PA. Check out his music, book a live jazz band in Central Pennsylvania.



Blue Band time

Rick Hirsch

I'm now in my 16th season as a staff arranger for the Penn State Blue Band (marching band). This is one of my favorite writing gigs, especially when I drop by their rehearsal before game day and get to hear my chart(s) played by 300 strong musicians!

I've already begun writing for this season, but the assignment—as always—is top secret!

Here's the arrangement I did last season (fall, 2016) of Journey's Open Arms.


Road-testing new tunes

Rick Hirsch

I finished two new original jazz ensemble pieces in the past month or so. Here are the videos of the first time they were read by humans.

This is always an important part of the writing process for me, as it reveals instantly what works and what doesn't. In the case of the first tune ("New Dog..."), I think it was just how I wanted it. The second tune, though, revealed that there were a few voicings I wanted to tweak (to achieve a different intensity) and that I needed to clarify an instruction in a trumpet part. Nothing major, but good to know about before sending off to the client who commissioned these.

There's a New Dog in Town
(sightread by the Zeropoint Big Band in State College, PA)

p.s. You may enjoy this other blog post in which I show the evolution of "New Dog" from blank paper to finished chart.



Dream Big 
(sightread by the River City Big Band in Harrisburg, PA)

More CD reviews

Rick Hirsch

Here are three more CD reviews of Pocono Git-Down.
Click links for full review text.


"A modern sounding big band that packs a wallop...a chart lover's delight."

JazzWeekly (George Harris)



LA Jazz Scene (Scott Yanow)


"Rick Hirsch and his Big Ol’ Band...make the sound of a big band cool and hipster"

Music Republic Magazine (Simon Redley / UK)

3 AAJ Reviews

Rick Hirsch

Three reviews of Pocono Git-Down have recently been published on AllAboutJazz.com, rating the album 4.5, 4, and 4 stars.


Here are some excerpts:

"[Pocono Git-Down] is a sensational and exciting big band recording that deserves serious attention.”Edward Blanco

“…these players from Central Pennsylvania—of all places—just blow you away.”Richard Salvucci

“With Pocono Git-Down, Hirsch’s Big Ol’ Band has made a grand ol’ debut.”Jack Bowers


Click an author's name to read his full review.



Rick Hirsch

Pocono Git-Down CD released

I am *thrilled* with how this turned out, and am confident that you will totally dig it, too. There are 9 brand-new charts, the 20-piece band is smokin', the recording/production is top-shelf, and the whole vibe is...

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