Blue Lake International

During the summer season, each jazz student will have the opportunity to apply for the International Jazz Ensembles, which will tour Europe during the summer of 2019, as part of Blue Lake’s International Exchange Program. For additional  information on this exciting opportunity, see the Blue Lake International Program.

Blue Lake's Jazz Program is designed to challenge young artists of all proficiency levels by exploring the world of Jazz through a well-balanced curriculum focusing on ensemble work, listening to the masters of the genre, and improvisational studies. Daily classes include large ensemble rehearsals of standard jazz band instrumentation, sectionals, technique class, improvisation class, and a listening lab. Students are encouraged to refine their jazz improvisational skills throughout their classes.

The jazz program is open to both seasoned jazzers as well as young musicians just learning about the genre. Students audition on opening day for placement and are grouped by ability, with the most advanced assigned to the Vanguard Jazz Band, while others are divided equally among the remaining ensembles.

Students can complete their instructional day by choosing a Minor, allowing them to experience another area of arts interest while at camp. See pages 24-29 for a complete listing of courses. Students also have the opportunity to hear various performances presented as a part of Blue Lake’s Summer Arts Festival, as well as participate in recreational activities and other camper events.


Jazz Conductors 2017

Session 1:  June 28 – July 9
Birdland Combo - James Hughes, Berkley, MI
Gold Jazz - Scott Cowan, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI
Blue Jazz – Mike Hunter, retired, Northwestern Michigan College, Traverse City, MI
Red Jazz - James Sawyer, retired, East Kentwood High School, Kentwood, MI

Session 2: July 12 – July 23
Birdland Combo – Matthew Hartmann, Davenport, IA
Gold Jazz – Dave Jensen, Royal Oak High School, Royal Oak, MI
Blue Jazz - TBA
Red Jazz - Tim Froncek, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

Session 3:  July 26 – August 6
Birdland Combo -Jim Cooper, Fennville, MI
Gold Jazz – Mike Pendowski, Auburn University, Auburn, AL
Blue Jazz – TBA
Red Jazz – Walter Harris, New York, NY


High School
Grades 9-12 next school year

Session I: June 27 - July 8, 2018
Session II: July 11 - 22, 2018


Grades 7-9 next school year

Session III: July 25 - August 5, 2018
Session IV: August 8 - 19, 2018