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Jazz Ensemble Program

Milestones offers jazz performance ensembles for kids of every skill level from upper elementary through high school. Following are the ensemble descriptions.

INTRODUCTION TO JAZZ

Tuesday, 4:30 – 6:30 pm

This group is for those who want to learn about jazz improvisation while playing different types of jazz in a group setting. It is for students of all ages, from sixth grade through high school. It’s the perfect group if you can check at least one of the following boxes:

 I have at least one year of experience on my instrument and I am ready to learn about jazz improvisation.

 I would like to get some jazz experience before joining my middle or high school jazz band.

 I’m already in my middle or high school jazz band, but I’m not that confident when it’s my turn to play a solo.

 I’m just wondering what this jazz thing is all about, and I would like to find out in a more low-key setting without all the pressures of a formal performance.

“Introduction to Jazz” is a great way to build confidence, learn more about jazz in general, and get jazz improvisation experience.

Even if you have played in a Milestones ensemble before, you may wish to enroll in Introduction to Jazz if you aren’t really confident in your jazz improvisation abilities. (Note that you can also audition for a Milestones Ensemble if you wish and attend Intro to Jazz at no extra cost!)

All instruments are welcome.

AUDITIONS:There are no auditions for this group. Instead, we will ask your band director or private teacher to fill out a form that will help us ensure that you are playing at a level that indicates you are ready for this class.

PERFORMANCE ENSEMBLES

These ensembles are for those who have some jazz improvisation experience and would like to continue to improve their jazz skills while playing in a small group setting.

In these ensembles you will be exposed different types of jazz with musicians who are playing at comparable ability levels.

These ensembles will have a minimum of one performance in the fall semester and two in the spring.

Please note that students in our performance ensembles may also attend “Introduction to Jazz” at no additional cost.

JAZZ FOUNDATIONS ENSEMBLE
A good step after “Intro to Jazz”
Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm

This group is for those with some jazz improvisation experience whose skill playing their instruments is on par with other students their age. This focus with this ensemble will be to take a deeper dive into jazz and build on the fundamentals of the Intro to Jazz group. All instruments are welcome!

JAZZ DISCOVERY ENSEMBLE
Intermediate group
Wednesdays, 4:30-6:30 pm

The Jazz Discovery Ensemble will explore additional jazz styles and jazz improvisation skills and techniques. The ensemble is open to students of intermediate to advanced playing abilities who also have improvisation experience. This group is also open to all instruments

JAZZ AMBASSADORS ENSEMBLE
Advanced group
Wednesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm

The Jazz Ambassadors Ensemble is made up of the most experienced students. To audition for this group you should have a minimum of two years of experience playing jazz. The Jazz Ambassadors Ensemble will likely perform more often than the other Milestones groups.

AUDITIONS: All Milestones performance ensembles are by audition.