High School Jazz Summer Program

At Interlochen, you can spend three weeks immersed in the world of jazz. Our faculty of accomplished performers and educators will help you broaden your understanding of jazz and develop your improvisational and performance skills. Perform in both a big band and combos with fellow jazz students who share your love for one of the quintessential American art forms.

Program length: 3 weeks
Program dates:
June 22, 2019 to July 13, 2019
Tuition: $6,015
Age range: Students currently in grades 9-12

Registration for this summer 2019 program will open later this fall.

At the beginning of the three-week session, you will audition for big band and jazz combos and be placed in ensembles and classes appropriate to your skill level. Your big band will rehearse two hours a day, and have two public performances during the three week session. Jazz combos rehearse one hour a day, and have one public performance.

Personalized instruction will be provided during rehearsals and classes. Your other classes will include:

  • Master classes with a faculty member or guest artist who specializes in your instrument
  • Jazz improvisation and theory
  • Jazz history
  • Jazz forum, which is an opportunity for students and faculty to convene in a master class setting

While you will not take elective classes outside the jazz curriculum, you are encouraged to enjoy the artistic vitality at Interlochen and attend student and faculty presentations in theatre, music, film, creative writing, dance, and visual art. And each summer, we present an impressive lineup of world-renowned classical, jazz, and popular guest artists.


Audition Requirements: Brass, Winds and Piano

Audio or video file #1: A jazz etude, transcription, or selection from a big band chart to demonstrate style, technique, tone, intonation, range, flexibility, musicianship.

Audio or video file #2: A ballad to demonstrate tone, expressiveness and control. No longer than one chorus.

Audio or video file #3: Improvisation (optional). Play the head and solo on a jazz standard and a blues. Recordings may be submitted with either a live group or with a jazz play-a-long. Brass players interested in learning improvisational skills are encouraged to apply.

Audio or video file #4: Containing the following selections, according to your instrument:


  • D and F Major scales, two octaves
  • D Harmonic minor, two octaves; G Harmonic minor, one octave
  • Chromatic scale full range


  • Chromatic scale, low F# to high C
  • Bb and A major scales
  • B Harmonic minor scale, two octaves; E Harmonic minor scale, one octave


  • Chromatic scale from lowest possible note to highest possible note
  • Bb and G Major scales, two octaves
  • A and E Harmonic minor scales, two octaves


  • C and Bb Major, 2 hands, 4 octaves up and down
  • A and G Minor scales (Dorian or natural minor), 2 hands, 4 octaves
  • Chromatic scale, 4 octaves
  • Blues scales in F, C or Bb
  • Melody and chords to a jazz tune of your choice

Audition Requirements: Bass and Guitar

Audio or video file #1: Bb and E Major scales, 2 octaves

Audio or video file #2: G and E harmonic minor scales, 2 octaves

Audio or video file #3: Chromatic scale, 2 octaves

Audio or video file #4:

  • Bass and Electric Bass only: play the melody to a blues selection; improvise on a blues tune; and demonstrate two choruses of walking bass lines
  • Guitar only: play the melody and comp the chords to a jazz standard; improvise on a blues and/or a standard tune

Audition Requirements: Drums

All drum auditions must be submitted on video.

Video file #1: A short excerpt of a recording with a big band or combo to demonstrate ensemble playing

Video file #2: Play time in the following styles: Slow Swing (mm=@100), fast swing (mm=@200), bossa nova, samba, funk or hip/hop. If possible, record this with a bass player or combo.

Video file #3: Closed or buzz roll starting at ppp, making a gradual crescendo to fff by beat 9 and gradual decrescendo back to ppp by beat 16. MM=60. Steady, single stroke roll as fast as possible.

Video file #4: A short excerpt performing with a combo to demonstrate small grou playing. Trading 8s or 4s with a soloist is recommended.

Audition Requirements: Vocals

More information coming soon!

Additional Opportunities


Bill Sears

Director of Jazz Studies, Instructor of Saxophone, Interlochen Center for the Arts

Leonard Foy

Instructor of Jazz Studies, Brass, Interlochen Arts Camp

Professor of Trumpet, DePauw University

Paul Johnston

Instructor of Jazz Studies, Piano, Interlochen Arts Camp

Professor of Jazz Studies, Eastern Illinois University

David Onderdonk

Instructor of Jazz Studies, Guitar, Interlochen Arts Camp

Professional touring and recording artist

Kelly Sill

Instructor of Jazz Studies, Bass, Interlochen Arts Camp

David Hardman

Instructor of Jazz Studies, Percussion, Interlochen Arts Camp

Director of Percussion Studies, University of Central Oklahoma

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