Jazz Combo Boot Camp

Academics / Colleges & Schools / Westminster College of the Arts / Westminster Conservatory of Music / Conservatory Summer Camps / Jazz Combo Boot Camp
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Camp Director: Paul Hofreiter
Grades 8 – 12
July 27 - July 31
9 AM – 12:30 PM (arrival time 8:45 AM)

Canceled - Join us Next Year!

Jazz Combo Boot Camp is a great opportunity for students of all instruments to take their existing knowledge of jazz to the next level by learning to play at a higher level with their peers under the guidance of working jazz professionals. Students will learn how to play in a small jazz combo setting — something not available in most middle/high schools, which usually only offer big band formats.

Melodic, harmonic and rhythmic instrumentalists will learn their roles in a small jazz group and how to “run” the ensemble, all while playing with professional musicians who will drive them past the level at which they normally play in a fun and challenging way. In addition to group lessons based on instrument, students will enjoy specialty classes such as combo class, jazz theory and improvisation, and a short listening class that will tie directly into what they are learning at camp.

Students can better get to know one another during a mid-morning break, during which they can relax and eat a quick snack that they have brought. Jazz Combo Boot Camp will conclude with a final performance on Friday, when the students can show off all they have learned during the week.

Students enrolling in Jazz Combo Boot Camp must be entering grades 8 through 12 in the fall of 2020. This is not a camp for absolute beginners—students must have some background in jazz and demonstrate proficiency on their instrument which will allow them to learn tunes quickly and with some independence. Students should come prepared with one jazz piece of their choosing; faculty will hear the students play at the start of the first day of camp in lieu of an audition. Students who are new to jazz and in 8th grade should consider signing up for Jazz Starters Camp.

Placement Audition
In lieu of a pre-camp placement audition, students should come prepared with one jazz piece of their choosing. Faculty will hear the students play their piece at the start of the first day of camp. The students might be asked to do some sight reading of jazz charts and some improvisation. This process helps us to group students into combos and choose appropriate tunes. Note: Although there is no maximum enrollment in Jazz Combo Boot Camp, the number of pianists, bass, and drum-set students accepted will be limited to 3 students per instrument.

Students will need to bring the following materials to the camp:

  • Blank music paper (manuscript paper). This can be printed free online from various websites or bought in a notebook.
  • “The Real Easy Book Vol. 1, 3 Horn Edition”, Sher Music Co. This can be ordered on Amazon or most music stores can order it for you. Although this book has “easy” in the title it is not a beginner book and is a play on words from another book of printed jazz sheet music, The Real Book. You will see on the top right corner of the book a version: C version, Bb version, Eb version or bass clef version. Which version you get will depend on the instrument you play. If you play trumpet, clarinet, soprano sax, or tenor sax, for example, you would get the Bb version because those are Bb instruments. Alto sax and baritone sax would get Eb versions, bass players and other bass instruments would get a bass clef version and piano, guitar and most other instruments you’ll see in jazz would get the C version. If you cannot find a book labeled “3 horn edition”, that’s okay and one without that label will work but do try to find it if you can.

Jazz Combo Boot Camp will be held on the Westminster Choir College campus.

Fees Early Bird Discount (Register by May 15)
$400 $375

$50 Late Fee will be added to tuition for registrations received one week prior to starting date of camp.

Fee includes assignment folder plus a Westminster Conservatory T-shirt.

A non-refundable deposit of $75 per session is due with the application. The balance of the fee is due by June 1. Registrations received after June 1 must pay in full. Cancellations after June 1 will receive a refund (less deposit, above) only if another student can be placed from a wait list.

Maximum enrollment: none except for the following instruments
Pianists - 3
Bass - 3
Drum-set - 3