Minnesota Youth Jazz Band
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Mid Level Honor Jazz Band Program - 2019

Applications are now CLOSED for the 2019 Mid Level Honor Jazz Band Program.

Check back soon for our 2020 season.

We're excited to announce that our 2019 Mid Level Honor Jazz Bands Program will start the first week of March. Interested musicians in grades 9 and under 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. There will be three bands based on ability. Each band will rehearse 10 weeks, perform one concert and produce a concert DVD. Dave Mendenhall, Jon Dostal, and Andy Nelson will be the directors. There will be a $200 fee for participation. Scholarship money is available in case of financial need.

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 We'll hold short auditions during early March of 2019 to determine band placement.

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

2019 Rehearsal Dates

Band 1 will rehearse Monday evenings from, 7:00 - 8:30 PM at Scott Highlands Middle School (Apple Valley):

  • March 4, 11, 18
  • April 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
  • May 6, 13
  • Concert Date – Sunday, May 19 time & location TBA

Band 2 will rehearse Thursday evenings, from 7:00 - 8:30 PM at Scott Highlands Middle School (Apple Valley):

  • March 7, 14, 21
  • April 4, 11, 18, 25
  • May 2, 9, 16
  • Concert Date – Sunday, May 19 time & location TBA

Band 3 will rehearse Monday evenings, from 6:30 - 8:00 PM at Justice Page Middle School (South Minneapolis):

  • March 4, 11, 18, 25
  • April 8, 15, 22, 29
  • May 6, 13
  • Concert Date – Sunday, May 19 time & location TBA

Drum Set, amplifiers, keyboards & bari sax are provided on site for rehearsals.

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 38 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, has been the educational chair for the JazzMN Orchestra, and has 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.
Jon DostalJon Dostal - Director
Jon has taught at Scott Highlands Middle School in Apple Valley for the past three years, and prior to that taught for five years at Twin Cities Academy, a charter school in Saint Paul. Jon graduated from the University of St. Thomas in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Instrumental Music Education. Jon also teaches private lessons and participates in Minnesota Band Directors Association honor band events as well as solo and ensemble festivals. Jon performs regularly with Grand Symphonic Winds, his cover band The NightCaps, and the church worship band at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina.
Andy NelsonAndy Nelson - Director
Andy has taught instrumental music in public schools for over 14 years, including Justice 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

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