Minnesota Youth Jazz Band
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Mid Level Honor Jazz Band Program - 2018

Applications are now open for the 2018 program.

Our 2018 program will start on March 5. Interested musicians in grades 7-9 are invited to participate. The instrumentation will be that of a traditional jazz big band - saxophones (alto, tenor, bari), trombones, trumpets, piano, bass, drums, and guitar. We’ll have three bands that rehearse each Monday evening from 7:00 - 8:30 PM for 10 weeks at one of these middle schools: Scott Highlands (Apple Valley), Falcon Ridge (Apple Valley), or Justice Page (South Minneapolis). Each band will perform one concert and produce a concert DVD.

Apply! – If you’re interested in having a great time learning challenging jazz music in the company of other fine young musicians, we hope you’ll join us! Please apply by mailing in an application, available from your teacher, or download an application here. You may also download a brochure for further information. We'll hold short auditions during early March of 2018 to determine band placement.

Fees - There will be a $200 fee for participation. Scholarships are available in cases of financial need.

2018 Rehearsal Dates (Mondays)

  • March 5, 12, 19
  • April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30
  • May 7, 14
  • Concert Date – May 20 time & location TBA

Qualifications for Students
The intent of our program is to include students who have demonstrated significant skills, interest and experience in jazz. In general, students who have the following skills would be a good fit:

  1. Understanding and playing basic scales including a Bb blues scale & chromatic scale (1 & ½ octave).
  2. Understanding the ‘swing’ style of rhythm.
  3. Understanding of basic & complex rhythm patterns.
  4. Students should be responsible & self-motivated.

Rhythm Section Qualifications:

  • Piano: 3 years of piano lessons. Currently taking lessons. Ability to read 4 parts. Basic understanding of chord symbols.
  • Bass: Previous jazz band experience. Currently taking lessons. Understanding of a blues bass line. Ability to read music notation in bass clef.
  • Drums: Previous jazz band experience. Currently taking lessons. Ability to read drum set notation. Understanding of swing, Latin & rock styles.
  • Guitar: 2-3 years of guitar lessons. Currently taking lessons. Ability to read music notation and chord symbols. Understanding of swing, Latin & rock styles.

    Drum Set, amplifiers, keyboards & bari sax are provided on site for rehearsals.
Dave MendenhallDave Mendenhall - Director
Dave has spent the last 37 years as a music educator and freelance musician in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. His school jazz ensembles and bands have earned outstanding recognition at many festivals and conventions. Since retiring in 2010, Dave has continued to perform music, been the educational chair for the JazzMN Orchestra, and worked to publish educational band methods. Dave has also served as clinician for various music festivals and has conducted several district and all-state honor bands.
ANDY nELSONAndy Nelson - Director
Andy has taught instrumental music in public schools for over 13 years, includingJustice Page Middle School in Minneapolis, Ramsey Middle School in St. Paul, Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and in the Brooklyn Center Public School System. Andy received a Bachelor of Music in Jazz Studies from DePaul University in Chicago in 1997, and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of St. Thomas in 2010. Andy is a professional woodwind specialist and has performed with many bands in the Twin Cities, Chicago, and New York City.
For more information – please call us or email us

Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands,
950 Scenic Drive, Shoreview MN 55126
Ph: (651) 784-5136
Email: david.mitchell@comcast.net

© Youth in Jazz, Inc. All rights reserved • PH: (651) 784-5136 • E-Mail: david.mitchell@comcast.net