This thesis discusses how the celebrated jazz orchestra composer Maria Schneider, integrates improvisation into the larger structures of her work. The three pieces Choro Dançado, The Pretty Road and Wyrgly are chosen as objects of analysis, and will provide examples of how Schneider uses tools such as thematic and motivic development, orchestration and harmony in order to create internal coherence in her compositions and guide the soloist to where she wants the piece to go. Schneider always has a clear vision for her compositions, and it is her ability to balance that vision with the spontaneity of improvisation that makes her music so exciting. She wants her work to be a collaboration, and that the soloists understand that they are parts of a larger whole, often carrying the role of a storyteller bringing the composition from one place to another.This is, hence, not a thesis about improvisation as such, but a thesis about the tools used to guide the soloist in the direction that is in keeping with the composer’s vision of the piece. Analyzing the pieces above not only provided answers to these questions, but also gives a new perspective on how to write music behind soloists in a large ensemble setting in general.