Junior High Jazz
For students completing grades 6 – 8
Designed for junior high students, the primary focus of this program is developing individual musicianship through a big band setting. Students will audition for placement in one of two big bands, and a few students will be selected for small jazz combos. Classes include big band and sectional rehearsals, improvisation, combo instruction, master classes, listening seminar, and study of individual instrument technique. The final concert will feature both big bands and one or two jazz combos.
Qualifications: Prior experience performing in a jazz ensemble is not required, however, only students with 2 or more years of playing experience will be accepted.
Here is what a typical day in the Junior Jazz program will look like:
Coordinator: Chip McNeill, University of Illinois
In addition to his position with the University of Illinois School of Music, Professor McNeill is Musical Director and Jazz Tenor Saxophonist for Grammy award-winning recording artist, Arturo Sandoval. He has toured with and recorded the compact discs (CDs) Americana and Hot House with Arturo Sandoval. In 1998, Hot House won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz recording. To his credit, Professor McNeill won a Grammy for his performance on Hot House, and two of his charts were nominated for Grammys from the recording. Professor McNeill also has performed and toured with the legendary jazz trumpeter, Maynard Ferguson, with whom he has produced, written, and performed on several CDs, including Live in London, These Cats Can Swing, and Maynard Ferguson's final CD, The One and Only. He has recorded performances with Nat Adderley, David Liebman, Duffy Jackson, Ira Sullivan, the Woody Herman Orchestra, Ted Shumate, and Larry Willis. Professor McNeill's most recent CD is "The Whirl" on Armored Records.