What will the INSTRUMENTAL BIG BAND clinician do with my group?

Each group will spend one hour with a single clinician. Clinicians will critique your prepared charts for 30-60 minutes, with the option of spending a portion of the clinic teaching your group a jazz composition totally by ear, focusing upon aural training and improvisation. If you have nothing prepared to bring to Jazz Celebration Weekend, you can have your clinician introduce your ensemble to a selection of your choice (bring score and parts with you) or spend your entire hour on aural training and improvisation. Some directors may choose to have the clinician focus upon the improvisational sections of charts they're planning to perform during the year.

What will the COMBO clinician do with my group?

You have 2 options. First, you can have your combo bring prepared jazz selections (jazz standards or jazz compositions from lead sheets/fake books/published combo charts or transcribed by ear from recordings) for your clinician to critique. For schools that wish to form a combo but haven't yet done so, directors are encouraged to select a combo from their big band personnel and have the clinician show the group how to get started, how to rehearse the ensemble, and what they should strive to accomplish during the year as a group. In both cases, you have the option of having the clinician teach your group a tune aurally, emphasizing ear training, improvisation, and group interaction.

My ensemble doesn't start up until November, so we won't have anything prepared to perform. What music should we bring?

Bring the score and parts to 1-2 charts that you're planning to perform with your group during the school year. Let your clinician begin teaching them to your ensemble during your group session. Another option for instrumental ensembles: Have your clinician spend your entire session focusing upon improvisation and aural training.

Because it will be so early in the school year, my ensemble won't have anything performance-ready. We don't want to embarrass ourselves with a substandard presentation. Should we still plan to attend?

Jazz Celebration Weekend was purposely scheduled in the fall to help directors start up their ensembles. Our clinicians understand that most ensembles will be bringing works-in-progress and some may have no repertoire prepared in advance. We are also encouraging directors with little or no jazz training to bring their groups to Jazz Celebration Weekend so that the clinicians can display how to start up the ensemble. With no ratings, awards, or trophies involved, the fest is void of pressure, and your ensemble will be working "behind closed doors" in an intimate rehearsal setting.

What should I plan for my group to do between our clinic session and the 7:30 pm evening concert?

Always encourage your students to attend the clinic sessions of other school groups and soloists. Everyone is free to attend any session that they choose during the daytime events. Attend performances by the Lawrence University Jazz Band at 1:30 p.m. (Chapel) and the Lawrence jazz faculty at 2:30 p.m. (Chapel). There are also student jazz small groups from 10:30 am to noon and 3:30-4:30 p.m. (Stansbury Theatre) and instrumental and vocal clinics given by Lawrence faculty.

How can I further incorporate Jazz Weekend activities into my ensemble preparations?

Find and study compositions recorded by the featured Jazz Celebration Weekend evening concert artists that you can perform with your ensemble. Emulate their recordings. Teach their tunes to your combos by ear. Give your pupils an historical sense of how these renowned jazz artists fit into the evolution of the jazz art form.

Are evening concert tickets guaranteed for students and directors participating in the educational clinics?

No. You must order the evening concert tickets separately. The evening concerts typically sell out quickly, so be sure to order them soon. (See the link for Jazz Weekend "Ticket Order Form.") (The Saturday daytime showcase concerts featuring Lawrence jazz groups are free).

Are chaperones, ensemble parents, and bus drivers free to attend our clinic sessions and daytime showcase concerts?

Yes - at no charge.