2021 Jazz Institute

Dates and Deadlines

Updated Program Dates: June 14 - 25, 2021

We have updated our plans for the 2021 Jazz Institute, which will be held in person on new dates and for college-division students only (ages 18-29 who have completed at least one year as a full-time college student). We have made the very difficult decision to cancel all in-person high school programs in 2021. See our COVID-19 Resources page for more information about this decision.

Application deadline: Submit by March 31 for priority review! Offers will be made on a rolling basis beginning April 1.

Michael Dease, Director

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.

The 2021 program is open to college-division students, ages 18-29. Students will participate in big band / combo classes and performances, private lessons, recording sessions, and mentoring opportunities with world renowned faculty and guest artists. Information about our on-campus safety procedures will be updated regularly on our COVID-19 Resources page. COVID-19 vaccines are required for all on-campus students, faculty, and staff for the 2021 season.

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.

2021 Jazz Institute @ Brevard Faculty

Michael Dease, Director & Trombone/Baritone Saxophone

Gwendolyn Dease, Associate Director & Hand Drums

Ulysses Owens, Jr., Drums & Entrepreneurship

Jeff Sipe, Drums & Popular Music

Luther Allison, Piano & Small Ensemble Collaboration

Rodney Whitaker, Bass & Master Educator

Sharel Cassity, Alto Saxophone/Flute & Band Leading

Chris Glassman, Bass Trombone & Arranging

Altin Sencalar, Trombone & Afro Cuban Styles

James Zito, Guitar & Jazz Pedagogy

Jim Alfredson, Organ Recording Techniques

NB: Faculty appointments are subject to change.


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

The application fee is $45. 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.

Resident Assistants

Brevard Music Center students in the Jazz Institute college division may apply to serve as Resident Assistants. Note: There are no Teaching Assistants in 2021. 

A limited number of Resident Assistant (RA) positions are available. Brevard's Resident Assistants (RA) provide guidance to younger students and supervise student living quarters.

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

An RA applicant must:

  • be at least 20 years of age by June 1, 2021
  • submit the separate 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 $300 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.*

* For refund policies specifically related to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, please visit our FAQ page.

Audition Requirements

Students who play the following instruments may apply. Click on an instrument to view specific audition requirements (audio or video recordings accepted). Upload audio recordings or link(s) to YouTube video auditions directly into your application.




Piano / Organ

Saxophone (Alto)

Saxophone (Baritone)

Saxophone (Tenor)




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