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Jazz Ensemble Program


John Ayala, Director

Thursdays from 6:30 to 8:30 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 another 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.


Tim Shaghoian, Director

Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
This group is a good step after “Intro to Jazz”
and is for those with some jazz improvisation experience whose skill playing their instruments is on par with other students their age.

This 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.


Richard Giddens, Director

Tuesdays from 6:30 to 8:30 pm
This is our advanced jazz ensemble, made up of the most experienced students. To take part in this group you should have more than two years of experience playing jazz and be improvising at an advanced level.

AUDITIONS: You may be asked to audition for our Jazz Discovery and Jazz Ambassadors ensembles if our directors are not familiar with your abilities from previous interaction.