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 2018, 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 organized with ensembles of standard Big Band instrumentation, in addition to smaller combos, and is designed to challenge students of all proficiency levels. Students are grouped by ability with the most advanced assigned to the Jazz Combo or Gold Band, while others are divided equally among the remaining ensembles. Enrollment is limited to specific jazz instrumentation needs, and students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

The daily schedule for jazz students includes large ensemble rehearsals, sectionals, technique classes, three levels of improvisation, and a listening course. Students can complete their instructional day by choosing a Minor, allowing them to experience another area of arts interest while at camp. See minors 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 camp events.

Advanced Jazz Combo Ensembles
Consisting of a rhythm section (piano, bass, and drums) plus three horns (alto or tenor sax, trumpet, trombone), the jazz combos will offer advanced jazz students the opportunity to hone their improvisation skills by focusing on performance within a small, specialized ensemble. Daily courses include: full rehearsals, listening, theory and improvisation, and technique. Acceptance is by audition on opening day of the session.


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 28 - July 9, 2017
Session II: July 12 - 23, 2017


Grades 7-9 next school year

Session III: July 26 - August 6, 2017