The Weekend of Jazz promotes music education for middle school, and junior and senior high school students from all over Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Jazz bands and combos from schools in this region come together in Beavercreek, Ohio to perform in exhibition. A panel of professional jazz musicians and music educators critique each concert and the student bands have the opportunity to attend clinics for one-on-one advice and feedback from one of the panel members. While there is a certain element of informal competition among the student bands, the emphasis is always on music instruction and learning. The format of the festival is regularly praised by participating band directors. Information of how to join the great line-up of jazz bands at Weekend of Jazz can be found in the Director’s Guide at the link below.
Thursday evening opens the festival with performances by the jazz bands of the Beavercreek City Schools – Ankeney and Coy Middle Schools and Beavercreek High School. These performances are observed by an on-stage jazz professional, who offers constructive critiques of each performance and encouragement for the young musicians. A unique feature of these concerts is that the on-stage clinician is “mic-ed” which enables to audience to see and hear the feedback to the bands and get a glimpse of what happens during the off-stage feedback sessions.
During the day on Saturday of each Weekend of Jazz festival, a number of school jazz bands perform in exhibition on the stage of Alumni Auditorium. All middle, junior high, and high school jazz bands are eligible to perform, and no prior performance or competition experience is required to participate in the Weekend of Jazz. There are no classes or divisions of bands; all bands perform on an open basis. The performances are non-competitive and free form to give you an opportunity to showcase your jazz band at its best. However, your band will be evaluated and provided feedback from a panel of clinicians. All performing bands receive a plaque to commemorate their participation and to show our appreciation.
We enlist the help of professional jazz musicians, clinicians, and educators to observe, evaluate, and critique these performances. Immediately following each band's performance, the band members meet in session with an evaluator who provides them feedback in a twenty to thirty minute private clinic, and actively works with the band members to improve their performances. Over the years, it has become apparent that this opportunity to perform for and work with professional jazz musicians is one of the highlights of the weekend for our high school participants.
Also throughout the day Saturday we offer Master instrument classes for students and other musicians to attend free of charge. These classes are presented by professional artists many of whom are also Jazz educators. Two of each class are usually available in order to allow all performing students and opportunity to attend a master session.
There is a $125 entry fee per band registered to perform during the Weekend of Jazz. This fee does not include admission to the jazz performances on Friday or Saturday evening.