High School Clinics and Festivals


Jazz Events - updated for 2015!

High school students join jazz faculty and students at NIU for two memorable events of non-stop jazz. Jazz Day is for high school jazz bands. Jazz Combo Day is for individual jazz students; admission is by audition or invitation.

NIU Jazz Faculty: Reggie Thomas (Coordinator, Jazz Studies), Rodrigo Villanueva (percussion), Art Davis (trumpet), Tom Garling (trombone), Fareed Haque (guitar), Geof Bradfield (saxophone)  Kelly Sill (bass) and Willie Pickens (piano, Jazz Combo Day only)

JAZZ DAY (for school jazz bands)
February 6, 2015
7:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Registration Deadline January 16, 2015

Hear and be heard by other high school jazz bands, by NIU School of Music faculty, including new jazz studies coordinator Reggie Thomas, and by this year’s guest clinician, Montez Coleman. 

Each band performs a concert, maximum time 20 minutes, in the Concert Hall. This performance is followed by a 20-minute clinic session, to be conducted by the NIU faculty members. Total time for each band: 40 minutes. All students are invited to individual instrumental clinics conducted by the guest clinician and the NIU faculty. Outstanding soloists will receive scholarships to this year's Jazz Combo Day.

Cost: $215 per school. Limited to 15 bands. Registration form


JAZZ COMBO DAY (for individual players)
March 17, 2015
8:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.

Registration Deadline March 3, 2015

FLYER - Share this flyer with your students. Auditions recordings must be postmarked by February 24.

Jazz Combo Day is an ideal opportunity for students to play with the best high school musicians in the region and to meet the great faculty and guest artists at NIU. The guest clinician is saxophonist Gregory Tardy.  Learn more about Mr. Tardy here.

Admission is by audition or invitation. Students who are accepted form one of the five or six combos at Jazz Combo Day. A concert caps the event. After dinner, the student combos perform, followed by a concert by NIU faculty and the guest artist. Accepted students must register in advance. This event is for individual players only; please do not audition or request admission as a group. 

Audition Recording

Students who attended Jazz Combo Day in 2014: You are automatically accepted for this year's event and do not need to send an audition recording. However, you must complete a registration form that will be mailed with an information letter in January. If you do not receive this mailing, call (815) 753-1450.

New applicants: You must submit an audio recording of your playing, along with a completed application form. Recordings should include three contrasting styles of playing, head and improvisation. Recorded or live rhythm section may be used by wind players. Rhythm players must submit representative playing with other musicians, with the focus on the auditioner. Group auditions will be accepted, but each auditioner must complete a separate form and be featured separately on the recording. Time limit: 10 minutes. Mail to: Reggie Thomas, School of Music, NIU, 1425 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb, IL 60115.

Accepted players will receive an information letter and a registration form and will be expected to register and pay by the deadline date in the letter.

Postmark deadline for recordings: February 24, 2015.

Cost: $40 for all accepted players; there is no fee needed with the audition tape. Accepted players will receive an information letter and registration form and must register and pay at the time of registration. Limited to 65 players.