Jazz Institute


The Program

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.

Students 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.

2024 Guest Artists:
The legendary Kenny Barron Trio will be at Brevard June 7 and 8 for a short residency and concert.

BMC is also excited to welcome Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra Affiliated Artists for a short residency culminating in a performance with the Jazz Institute students.


Dates and Deadlines

Program Dates: June 4 - 15, 2024
DeadlineMarch 15, 2024 - Jazz applications are closed for the 2024 Season
Ages: 14-29
Application fee: $40
Audition requirements: Listed by instrument at the bottom of this page


2024 Jazz @ Brevard Faculty

Michael Dease, Director and Trombone
Gwendolyn Dease, Associate Director and hand drums
Luther Allison, piano and drums
Benny Benack III, voice and trumpet
Lisa Burn, trumpet
Sharel Cassity, saxophone
Colleen Clark, drumset
Jocelyn Gould, guitar
Miki Hayama, piano
Lenora Helm Hammonds, voice
Randy Napoleon, guitar
Bill Reichenbach, bass trombone
Altin Sencalar, trombone
Anthony Stanco, trumpet
Gregory Tardy, saxophone
Katie Thiroux, bass and vocals
Rodney Whitaker, bass
Matt Wilson, drums

Please note: Faculty appointments are subject to change.


Tuition

The application deadline is March 15, 2024. The tuition fee is $1950 and includes all instruction, housing, meals, on-campus health services, and concert admission. Each participant is responsible for travel to and from Brevard.

A non-refundable enrollment fee of $400 is due within 10 days of acceptance and applies toward the cost of tuition. The remaining tuition balance is due by May 15.

Arrival Information

Students should arrive on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 (check-in between 10am-5pm on campus). There will be an evening meal and activity, and the first class is Wednesday morning. The nearest airport to Brevard is the Asheville Regional Airport (AVL), or participants can drive to the Music Center.

The final concert is Friday June 14 at 7:30pm. Departure is on Saturday, June 15, and students must be out of the dorms by 10:00am.

BMC provides a shuttle service from the Asheville airport (AVL) to the Brevard Music Center. There is a small fee each way, for pick-up and for drop-off, and students can request this service through MyBMC. If you fly into another airport, you will need to find your own transportation to Brevard.

Drummers: drums are provided by BMC. Please plan to bring your own cymbals and sticks/mallets/brushes.

Refunds

All payments, except the $40 application fee and $400 enrollment fee, 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 refunds will be made after May 15.


Scholarships

Brevard Music Center offers limited scholarship assistance for the Jazz Institute according to a student's audition and demonstrated financial need, and program need. Scholarship support includes merit, need-based, and the BMC Opportunity Scholarship open to students of African-American and Latinx descent. 

Please visit the Scholarship section of our FAQ page for more information on those scholarship types.

Jazz Vocal Scholarships

Funding support from the John and Carolyn Peterson Foundation will provide a limited number of full tuition Jazz Vocal Scholarships in Summer 2024. These awards are designed to provide a life-changing experience for talented students who would not otherwise have the opportunity. Scholarship recipients are only required to pay the $400 enrollment fee.

Teaching Assistants / Resident Assistants

Brevard Music Center students in the College division may apply to serve as Teaching Assistants or Resident Assistants. A limited number of positions are available.

TA duties may include coaching younger students, conducting sectional rehearsals, and assisting faculty. RAs supervise student living quarters and provide guidance to younger students.

A TA or RA applicant must:

  • be at least 21 years of age by June 1
  • submit the Teaching Assistant or Resident Assistant application (within the general application)
  • submit to a formal background check, if selected
  • RAs must arrive on Monday, June 3 around noon and depart on Saturday, June 15 after noon.

TA and RAs have the same ensemble and performance opportunities as other college division students. TAs and RAs pay only a non-refundable enrollment fee of $400 which goes toward instruction, room, and board.


Audition Requirements

Students who play the following instruments may apply. Click on an instrument to view specific audition requirements. Upload audio files or link(s) to YouTube video auditions directly into your application. Submissions do not have to be one continuous take; once you add one selection, the option to add another will appear. 


Additional Information By Instrument

Bass / electric bass students choose one of the five songs below. Play the melody to the composition and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Chromatic scale (ascending and descending demonstrating your current range; lowest to highest comfortable note). Choose your own tempo.

Bass trombone students choose one of five songs below. Play the melody to the composition and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Chromatic scale (ascending and descending demonstrating your current range; lowest to highest comfortable note). Choose your own tempo.

Drum students choose one of five songs below. Play the rhythmic melody to the composition, play time for one chorus and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Etude or solo transcription of your choice.

Guitar students choose one of five songs below. Play the melody to the composition, comp for one chorus and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Etude or solo transcription of your choice.

Piano students choose one of five songs below. Play the melody to the composition, comp for one chorus and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Etude or solo transcription of your choice.

Saxophone students choose one of five songs below. Play the melody to the composition and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Chromatic scale (ascending and descending demonstrating your current range; lowest to highest comfortable note). Choose your own tempo.

Saxophone students choose one of five songs below. Play the melody to the composition and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Chromatic scale (ascending and descending demonstrating your current range; lowest to highest comfortable note). Choose your own tempo.

Saxophone students choose one of five songs below. Play the melody to the composition and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Chromatic scale (ascending and descending demonstrating your current range; lowest to highest comfortable note). Choose your own tempo.

Trombone students choose one of five songs below. Play the melody to the composition and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Chromatic scale (ascending and descending demonstrating your current range; lowest to highest comfortable note). Choose your own tempo.

Trumpet students choose one of five songs below. Play the melody to the composition and improvise. 4 chorus maximum.

  • Oleo – Bb
  • Billie's Bounce – F
  • Take the 'A' Train – C
  • In A Sentimental Mood – F
  • Ornithology – G

Technical: Chromatic scale (ascending and descending demonstrating your current range; lowest to highest comfortable note). Choose your own tempo.

Major Scale of your choice: ascending and descending 1 or 2 octaves.

Sing melody to George and Ira Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm" and scat solo for one chorus over 32 bar Rhythm Changes song form.