Summer Jazz Camp FAQs

I’ve never played jazz before. Can I still attend Summer Jazz Camp?
We accept students in grades 6 through college freshman, at all abilities and experience levels. Campers do not need prior experience with jazz, just a strong interest, an openness to learning and trying new things, and a basic fluency on their instrument. Students are auditioned for ensembles on the first day of camp and assigned to both a big band and a combo at their level.

Do you offer vocal instruction?
Yes! Vocalists take part in voice master classes, ensembles and may also join an instrumental combo as a soloist.

What happens at the audition?
All campers will play a jazz melody in the blues style and improvise a two-chorus solo. Follow the links below to print the melody and blues scale for YOUR instrument or voice.

  • Middle School Instrumental Audition
  • Middle School Vocal Audition
  • High School Instrumental Audition
  • High School Vocal Audition

I don’t play a typical jazz big band instrument. Can I still attend camp?
Yes, we accept strings, flutes, clarinets, and all kinds of brass. Woodwind and brass players are all assigned to appropriate master classes; we also offer a separate master class for strings assuming we have enough registrants on those instruments. All students are assigned to at least one combo and we make every effort to find a big band for students, no matter the instrument.

Will I be studying with other people my age?
Not necessarily. We place students in ensembles based on their proficiency with jazz. Your ensemble may be made up of students your age, or a mixture of ages.

What equipment should I bring with me?
We provide acoustic pianos, keyboards, drum kits (without cymbals), and bass and guitar amps. All other instruments and equipment must be brought with you for each day of the camp. We also provide each camper with a folder for music and worksheets as well as blank manuscript paper for note-taking. Drummers local to the Monterey area will be asked to bring their drum kit to camp. We are only able to provide drum kits for students who will be traveling a distance to camp and cannot bring their own set. Larger instruments and equipment may be stored in the locked rooms on the Stevenson Campus.

I will be a residency camper. What should I bring with me for the dorms?
We provide bedding, sheets, and towels. You should pack enough comfortable clothes for the week, including warmer layers for the cool evenings. Be sure to bring all the toiletries you need as there are no stores within short walking distance. By evening most campers are worn out from the long day of playing, but consider bringing reading materials, a portable music player or tablet/laptop for entertainment. There are vending machines, but you may also consider bringing some favorite snacks.

What transportation is offered to and from campus for residential students?
Students are responsible for their own transportation to and from the camp. Campers needing transportation from a Bay Area airport should consider Monterey Airbus: During camp hours, all students are required to stay on campus, including the lunch hour.

When should day campers plan on arriving at camp?
Please see the camp manual for arrival and departure information.

When are students required to move into and move out of the dorms?
Please see the camp manual for arrival and departure information.

Are the dorms supervised?
Summer Jazz Camp has one male and one female adult Resident Advisor. The Resident Advisors stay in the dorms with the students to provide supervision and also organize evening activities.

How are the dorm room assignments managed?
If you would like to share a room with a friend, please fill in the rooming request line on the camp application form. In the absence of any particular request, we match up roommates by similar age, grade level, and instrument.

Where do I eat during the camp?
The camp fee for residential students includes three meals a day in the Stevenson cafeteria. Day student tuition includes lunch only. All campers should bring favorite snacks for breaks as well as a water bottle. All campers are asked on the camp application to identify any food allergies or special requirements they may have so that the cafeteria may prepare appropriate options for them.


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