Jazz Institute @ Brevard

Michael Dease, Director

Under the direction of Michael Dease, the Jazz Institute @ Brevard is committed to providing an authentic, immersive experience in the jazz aesthetic while refining the elements of musical and personal discipline, integrity, and passion. If you are seeking to take your musical abilities to the next level, look no further, you are in the right place.

The Program

The program enrolls up to 70 students, ages 14 to 29, who will participate in big band / combo classes and performances, private lessons, recording sessions, and mentoring opportunities with world renowned faculty and guest artists.

Our all-star faculty are some of the busiest working professionals in the music industry and their talent is equaled in their teaching ability. They are here for you – our students. The great Dizzy Gillespie once said, "I always try to teach by example and not force my ideas on a young musician. One of the reasons we're here is to be a part of this process of exchange."

Days are packed with events including big band, quintets – sextets – septets – octets, professional recording sessions, masterclasses with guest artists, private lessons, jazz history, jazz theory, jam sessions, outreach concerts, and performances at the Brevard Music Center. Topics of study reach across the entire music industry and provide insight to playing all styles of music. There is something for everyone at every step of the way. Time off in the schedule allows for hiking, rafting, tubing, cook-outs, and exploring the scenic forests and waterfalls of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

2020 Jazz Institute @ Brevard Faculty

Michael Dease, trombone

Gwen Dease, drums

Jim Gasior, piano

Todd Coolman, bass

Randy Napoleon, guitar

Sharel Cassity, saxophone

Jim Alfredson, organ

Jeff Sipe, drums

Ulysses Owens, Jr., drums

Brian Lynch, trumpet

Anthony Stanco, trumpet

Carmen Bradford, voice

Lenora Helm, voice

Gina Benalcazar, trombone

Gregory Tardy, saxophone

Luther Allison, piano and drums

The Sencalar / Glassman Quintet

NB: Faculty appointments are subject to change.

Typical Daily Schedule

7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.


8:15 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Warm-up Class

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

Combo Rehearsal

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Theory/History Class

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Big Band Rehearsals / Private Lessons

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Private Lessons / Practice Time

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Master Class / Concerts

9:00 p.m.

Jam Session

Audition Requirements

Students who play the following instruments may apply. Click on an instrument to view specific audition requirements (audio or video recordings accepted):

Tuition and Payment Schedule

The tuition for the Jazz Institute is $1500*. This includes all instruction, housing, meals, and transportation in Brevard. Each participant is responsible for travel to and from Brevard.

A non-refundable reservation deposit of $500 is due within 2 weeks of acceptance.

*Tuition waived for Teaching / Resident Assistants. (A non-refundable enrollment fee of $300 is due within 2 weeks of acceptance.)


Brevard Music Center offers scholarship support according to a student's audition and demonstrated financial need, and program need. Brevard provides some scholarship support to more than 70% of its students.

Students are encouraged to seek financial assistance from outside sources. Schools, music clubs and organizations, youth orchestras and bands, service clubs (e.g., Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.), businesses, and foundations may be willing to help. Be professional and creative, and start planning early.

Organizations providing scholarships for musicians

Students apply for Brevard's scholarships online, as part of the regular application process. Applying for scholarship support requires disclosure of certain financial information and a detailed statement of need.

BMC Opportunity Scholarship

The BMC Opportunity Scholarship is designed to assist historically underrepresented populations in the study of music. Open to students of African-American and Latinx descent, the BMC Opportunity Scholarship program seeks to help these young musicians overcome financial obstacles that might prevent them from achieving their full potential. BMC Opportunity Scholarships are awarded in conjunction with financial aid. Students may apply for the scholarship in the Financial Aid section of the online application.

Teaching Assistants / Resident Assistants

Brevard Music Center students in the College division may apply to serve as Teaching Assistants / Resident Assistants.

A limited number of Teaching Assistant / Resident Assistants (TA/RA) positions are available.

Duties for Teaching Assistants (TA) may include coaching younger students, conducting sectional rehearsals, and assisting faculty. Brevard's Resident Assistants (RA) supervise student living quarters and provide guidance to younger students.

TA/RAs have the same ensemble and performance opportunities as other college division students. TA/RAs pay a non-refundable enrollment fee of $300 which covers tuition, room, and board.

A TA/RA applicant must:

  • be at least 21 years of age by June 1
  • submit the separate Teaching Assistant / Resident Assistant application (within the general application)
  • be accepted first as a student
  • submit to a formal background check, if selected


All payments, except the $45 application fee and $500 reservation deposit, will be fully refunded if the Center receives notice of cancellation due to serious illness before May 15.

Written verification from an M.D. is required before a refund can be made. No reduction in fees can be made for late arrival or early departure.

No refund for any reason will be made after May 15.


Payment can be made online by signing into your application page, or you can mail a check to the address below.

If you mail a check, please make the check out to "Brevard Music Center."

Be sure to write "Jazz Institute" and the full name of the student in the memo field.

Mail check to:

Brevard Music Center
ATTN: Jazz Institute
P.O. Box 312
Brevard, NC 28712