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 2016, as part of Blue Lake’s International Exchange Program. The 2015 International Jazz Ensemble is under the direction of David Jensen, and the International Jazz Orchestra is under the direction of Dr. James Sawyer. 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 2014

Session 1:  June 25– July 6
Birdland Combo--James Sawyer, Kentwood, MI
Gold Jazz— Dave Jensen, Royal Oak, MI
Blue Jazz— Max Colley, Grandville, MI
Red Jazz—James Hughes, Berkley, MI

Session 2: July  9 – July 20
Birdland Combo--TBA
Gold Jazz—Dave Jensen, Royal Oak, MI
Blue Jazz—TBA
Red Jazz—Eric Koppa, Arkdale, WI

Session 3:  July 23 – August 3
Birdland Combo-- Jim Cooper, Fennville, MI
Gold Jazz— Mike Hunter, Traverse City, MI
Blue Jazz— Jeff Uban, Champaign, IL
Red Jazz— Phillip Burkhead, Cincinnati, OH

Session 4:  August 6 – August 17
Birdland Combo--Chris Lawrence, Grand Rapids, MI
Gold Jazz—TBA
Blue Jazz—Walter Harris, New York, NY
Red Jazz—Gary McCourry, Wayland, MI

High School
Grades 9-12 next school year

Session I: July 1 - July 12, 2015
Session II: July 15 - 26, 2015


Grades 7-9 next school year

Session III: July 29 - August 9, 2015
Session IV: August 12 - 23, 2015