Jazz Ensemble & Combo Camp

Dates: Week I: June 20-25, 2021

           Week II: June 27-July 2, 2021

Completing Grades 6-12

Camp fee: $650 if received by March 1, 2021
After March 1, camp fee is $675

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Who Should Enroll
All levels of experience are accepted, from beginner to advanced. Students receive a personal private audition upon Sunday arrival, and are matched with others of the same level. Whether you're just starting your jazz experience, or are an accomplished performer and passionate about continuing your studies, this camp is for you!

Jazz Ensemble and Combo Camp Features
Daily Instrument Masterclasses
Jazz Improvisation and Theory
Morning & Afternoon Group Rehearsals
Listening: How & What To Listen To
Wide Variety of Music: Classic Standards to Contemporary & Fusion
Evening Faculty & Student Performances
Free time each day: Practice, play games, relax or go to the beach!

For more than 40 years, the Shell Lake Jazz Camps have been the launching pad for some of America's most acclaimed young jazz musicians:
Ethan Iverson (The Bad Plus)
Geoff Keezer (Art Blakey, David Sanborn)
Lyle Mays (Pat Metheny Group)
Saxophonist Bill Evans (Miles Davis, Randy Brecker)
Trumpeter Byron Stripling

Thousands of great performers and educators began their jazz studies at Shell Lake. Join us this summer to make your own jazz history.

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Instruments for this camp include:
All Brass


*None at this time*

Audition Information


Audition Information for all saxophones (other woodwinds see below)
Be prepared to play the following:
1) Full-range chromatic scale starting on low Bb up to high F. (high F# is optional, and baritones can start on low A if they have an instrument with this key on it)
2) Your C and D major scales, two octaves or full-range slurred.
3) Sight-reading of a swing jazz etude excerpt. (faculty will choose the piece)
4) Optional prepared jazz etude of your choosing.
5) Optional improvisation on a blues for those who have had experience improvising. (student can choose the key they prefer for this)

Other Woodwinds (clarinet/flute/oboe)
For the chromatic scale, please play the widest range you are familiar with.


Be prepared to play: - a full-scale (usually B-flat) - as many major scales as you can play If you know your dorian and mixolydian scales, you will be asked to play some of them. There will be sight-reading and improvising. If you have prepared a piece, let the faculty member hearing your audition know before you begin.


Be prepared to play: - a chromatic scale to demonstrate fluency and range You will be asked to play major scales. There will be sight-reading of a swing jazz tune for style, interpretation, and maturity of sound. If you have prepared a piece, let the faculty member hearing your audition know before you begin.


Be prepared to play: - a jazz tune - a blues tune - an excerpt from a classical or ragtime piece If possible, students should be prepared to improvise on chord changes to a standard jazz tune and blues progression. If you have prepared a piece, let the faculty member hearing your audition know before you begin.


Be prepared to play: - a comping pattern for blues in B-flat or F. If you know a blues melody in one of these keys (i.e., "Tenor Madness"), you may play it as well. If you have prepared a piece, let the faculty member hearing your audition know before you begin.


Be prepared to play: - a walking blues bass line in the key of B-flat or F. If you have prepared a piece, let the faculty member hearing your audition know before you begin.


Be prepared to play various drum set styles (swing, latin, rock, etc.). There will be sight-reading and improvising. If you have prepared a piece, let the faculty member hearing your audition know before you begin.

Sample Daily Schedule

8:00 AM Master Class
9:15 AM Big Band Rehearsal
11:00 AM Improvisation
Noon Lunch
1:00 PM Listening
2:15 PM Big Band Rehearsal
3:30 PM Combo Rehearsal
5:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Evening Performance
10:30 PM Lights Out

Final Performance - Friday at 5:00 p.m.

Faculty 2021

Jazz I:

Tom Luer - Program Director, Saxophone

Sue Orfield - Saxophone

Riley Helgeson - Trumpet

Dean Sorenson - Trombone

Chris Olson - Guitar

Chris White - Piano

Karyn Quinn - Bass

Dave Schmalenberger - Drums

Jazz II:

Tom Luer - Program Director, Saxophone

Scott Johnson - Saxophone

Mike Walk - Saxophone

Riley Helgeson - Trumpet

Ethan Freier - Trombone

Chris Olson - Guitar

Kavyesh Kaviraj - Piano

Karyn Quinn - Bass

Rich MacDonald - Drums

Find full Instructor bios here

Watch our Camps & Workshops Video:

Additional Information:

Please note: Due to unplanned scheduling conflicts, we cannot guarantee the appearance of any specific artist.

Questions? Feel free to contact us for any additional information.

Accommodations ~ Residence halls are available for the duration of the camp session. The residence halls are supervised by a professional counseling staff on duty 24 hours each day and meals are prepared under the supervision of a state-approved dietitian. If you are interested in a commuter option, please contact the Center. Participants provide their own transportation to and from the camp.

Registrations ~ are accepted until the camp is full. Students may be placed on a waiting list if desired. A camp packet is sent after receipt of registration form. You may register by mail, phone, fax, or online. Please see registration form for more details. All cancellations must be made in writing and received 3 weeks in advance of the start of camp. A $50.00 processing fee will be deducted from your refund. No other refunds will be provided without 3 weeks notice. All refunds will be processed at the end of the camp season.

Fees ~ Our student camp fee is $675.00, which includes tuition, room and board. Please refer to the registration form for complete details on fees. Half payment is due with each application, with the balance due upon arrival at camp.

Scholarships ~ Each year, the Arts Center raises funds for the scholarship program. If you are interested in applying for an Arts Center scholarship, please contact the Center at 715-468-2414 or visit our website at www.shelllakeartscenter.org.

Check-in/Check-out ~ Students will complete camp check-in the first day of camp. Please refer to your specific check-in times included in the camp packet. A completed medical form report, signed by the parent or guardian, must be presented at registration. This form is included in your camp packet and is available on our website. Camp packets are mailed to you a few weeks prior to your camp.

Additional Information ~ To request disability accommodations, or other special requests, please contact the Center two weeks in advance of camp. More information about camp and all of the opportunities available at the Shell Lake Arts Center can be found on our website.

Participants are admitted without regard to race, color, national origin, age, or handicap.  Shell Lake Arts Center is an inclusive organization, and we accept all artists and musicians.