The jazz summer program at Interlochen is an opportunity for high school jazz musicians to spend 3 or 6 weeks immersed in the world of jazz, working with a faculty of accomplished performers and educators.
Jazz students rehearse, perform, develop improvisational skills and broaden their understanding of jazz history. Performance opportunities include both big band and combo programs. While encouraged, improvisation experience is not required, and strong section players (especially brass) are encouraged to apply.
Performing ensembles include:
- Big Band will rehearse two hours daily and perform twice during the three-week session.
- Jazz combos will rehearse one hour daily and perform once during the three-week session.
Placement in ensembles will be determined based on a live audition with the faculty prior to the first day of classes, ensuring that each student is placed in ensembles and courses appropriate to their skill level.
Additional classes include:
- Master classes for each instrument will be offered by a faculty member who specializes on that instrument.
- Jazz improvisation and theory.
- Classes in either jazz history or jazz arranging – the arranging class will be offered for students with advanced understanding of jazz theory and harmony; all other students will take jazz history.
- Jazz forum provides time for students and faculty to meet for discussion in a master class setting.
Personalized instruction will be provided to individuals and groups during rehearsals and classes.
Due to the intensity of the program, jazz students will not participate in elective classes.
How to Apply: 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
How to Apply: Bass and Guitar
- Prepare the audition materials listed below.
- Complete the online application.
- Upload your audition materials.
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
How to Apply: Drums
- Prepare the materials listed below.
- Complete the online application
- Upload your audition/portfolio materials.
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.
Interlochen is also home to the Arts Academy boarding high school, which offers a jazz emphasis within the instrumental music major.
Instructor of Jazz Studies and Saxophone, Interlochen Arts Academy
Instructor of Jazz Saxophone and Jazz Program Coordinator (both sessions), Interlochen Arts Camp