Music at Aquinas College

  • Group shot of Jazz Camp 2019 attendees

    Jazz Camp

Jazz Camp

For over 30 years, the Aquinas College Summer Jazz Camp has been educating music students entering seventh grade through college, adult musicians, and music educators with all levels of skills and abilities. The 2019 camp will be Sunday, June 16 through Friday, June 21 and take place in the Aquinas College Art & Music Center.



Faculty Concert: Wednesday, June 19 at 7:30 p.m.

Camper Showcase: Friday, June 21 at 2:00 p.m.

Both concerts are FREE and open to all to attend!!

Jazz Camp 2019

Sunday, June 16 – Friday, June 21, 2019
Sunday 2:30-5:00 p.m.
Monday-Friday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

Who is Jazz Camp for?

The Aquinas College Jazz Camp is designed for musicians entering 8th Grade—finishing High School, BUT can be adjusted for the College Student looking for college credit or the Adult Musician looking to advance their skills!

Camp Instructors are:

  • Dr. Paul Brewer, Camp Director, Trombone
  • Benje Daneman,Trumpet
  • Tim Froncek, Percussion
  • Tom Lockwood, Saxophone
  • Mike Hyde, Electric & Acoustic Guitar
  • Matt Brewer, Electric & Acoustic Bass
  • Jeff Ingraham, Trombone
  • Dr. Robin Connell, Piano

The instructors listed above are all recognized jazz masters whose careers as teachers and players are well established and widely respected.

What is offred throughout the week?

  • Combos
  • Big Bands
  • Faculty Concert
  • Student Concert
  • Master class
  • Jazz Theory
  • Electives in:
    • Jazz History
    • Composing & Arranging
    • Rhythmic Exploration
    • Improvisation.

Additional Details

  • Camp Placement: Mandatory camp introductions, placement level auditions, theory test, and elective selections for all students will begin at 3 p.m.
  • College Credit: College students may apply for college credit.
  • Auditions for Jazz Camp: The students may choose any prepared piece, classical or jazz, with which to audition. The excerpt doesn't have to be more than one minute long. The piece they choose should be something they've had prepared for a while and something they feel very confident about. The point is to hear them play something they feel confident about, whatever that might be. We will be able to tell quite a lot about their proficiency from the pieces they choose and how well they play them. We need to hear each student playing in a confident manner before we ask them to read music and improvise over a B-flat blues for us. When we ask them to read music and improvise for us, we will get a perspective on how they handle unprepared material.
    • Flute
    • Saxophones (You pick your tempo at audition.)
    • Trumpet
    • Trombone
    • Bass
    • Guitar (and other concert pitch instruments) 
    • Piano
      • Please use this as a guide to prepare for your audition. We realize that, depending upon your prior training, you may only be able to do some of what is on this list.
      • Students will be asked to demonstrate, as able:
        1. A short musical selection, or part of a longer one. Any style of music is okay.
        2. A jazz standard of your choice, melody/chords, optional improvisation.
          Suggestions: Now’s The Time (or other 12 bar blues), Autumn Leaves, Blue Bossa, All the Things You Are, So What, (or other 16 – 32 bar jazz standard).
        3. Major scale(s). You will be asked to play 2 – 3 major scales.
        4. Chords. You will be asked to demonstrate, as able: triads, 7 th chords, jazz piano voicings.
        5. Sight reading. You will be given a selection written in the grand staff, and also a selection with chord symbols to sight read.
        6. Improvisation, with accompaniment.

What are my options?

$300* for a Day Camper

What does that get me?
All materials, classes, lunches, and camp T-shirt

$500* for an Overnight Camper

What does that get me?
Everything a Day Camper gets PLUS room and board

*a $25 deposit is required to secure your spot and is included in your total fee!

What is the schedule?

Camp Check-In* will begin at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 17th in the Art and Music Center.

Camp Introductions will begin at 3:00 p.m. in our Kretshcmer Recital Hall.

Mandatory auditions and theory testing will begin at 3:15 p.m.

Daily Schedule:
Classes 9—11:50 a.m.
Lunch Noon– 12:50 p.m.
Classes 1—5 p.m

Overnight Camper Schedule: Breakfast 8-8:50 a.m.
Dinner 5-6:30 p.m.
Evening Activity 7-10 p.m.
Lights Out 11:30 p.m.

*Dorm Check-In is from 1:30-2:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 17th.


Email us:
Dr. Paul Brewer, Camp Director
616-632-2416 or
Betsey Ingraham, Administrative Assistant
616-632-2413 or