American Music Program Pacific Crest Combo

Photo ©2015 Monterey Jazz Festival / Craig Lovell

2015 Next Generation Jazz Festival High School Conglomerate Combo Division Winner

The American Music Program in Portland Oregon is a nationally recognized leader in educating 7th -12th grade students in American art music – jazz.

Students in this magnet school program are recruited from culturally diverse backgrounds throughout the Portland, Oregon metropolitan region. The program’s goal is not only to perform the music of American culture (including, but not limited to Ellington, Basie, Coltrane, Armstrong and Davis) but also to imbue its finest qualities in the representative lives of the students, their families and the community.

Under the direction of acclaimed jazz trumpeter Thara Memory, the Pacific Crest Jazz Orchestra regularly competes in – and wins – student competitions across the country, including the Monterey Jazz Festival's Next Generation Jazz Festival, Essentially Ellington at Lincoln Center, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival, Swing Central at the Savannah Music Festival, and many more.

American Music Program students leave high school with advanced performance skills and a deep understanding of the jazz art form. This pre-professional training opens the door to social, cultural and global identification and allows students to experience a more meaningful connection between their lives, community, school and the world.

Because of their rigorous training, American Music Program students often go on to receive scholarships to attend the country’s top music colleges, such as The Juilliard School, Berklee College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, The New School for Jazz, Oberlin College Conservatory, and others.