Junior Jazz

July 16 – July 22, 2023

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 three 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.


  • All instruments and voices are welcome.
  • Prior experience performing in a jazz ensemble is not required.
  • For students completing grades 6-8.

Typical Daily Schedule

8:15 – 9:15 am: Sectionals and Master Classes
9:30 – 10:30 am: Improvisation Class
10:45 – 11:45 am: Big Band Rehearsal
Noon – 1:15 pm: Lunch
1:15 – 2:15 pm: Combo Rehearsal/Listening Class
2:30 – 3:30 pm: Big Band Rehearsal
3:45 – 4:45 pm: Electives
5:15 pm: Dinner and Evening Activities
10:30 pm: Lights out

Application Process

  • (Applications open December 1st 2022)


  • Resident – $800 (tuition, room and board)
  • Commuter – $550 (tuition and lunch only)


Roosevelt Griffin, Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School

Before becoming a full-time teacher, Dr. Griffin worked with some of the world’s greatest musicians, including Luciano Pavarotti, Diana Ross, and Jimmy Heath. He is often invited to present at conferences and workshops for music education, including the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinics, National Association for Music Education , Jazz Institute of Chicago, Jazz Educators Network, Missouri Music Educators Association, Illinois Music Educators Association, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic, Northern Illinois University, Columbia College, and others. 

Dr. Griffin’s approach to teaching is one that is intentional and full of care and love. He believes music education should be a vehicle to not only promote musical excellence, but also unity and diversity. His approach has been highlighted in the ASCD training video by Eric Jenson, “Teaching With Poverty In Mind”.  He and his students have also been featured in Downbeat and JazzEd magazines for obtaining an endorsement with Jody Jazz Mouthpieces. In addition, he recently co-authored the latest addition to GIA Publication’s TMTP series, “Teaching Music Through Performance: Beginning Jazz Ensembles” and the 2020 Meredith Music publication, “Rehearsing the Jazz Band”.