School of Music

Southern Maine Jazz Camp

Register for this camp

The Southern Maine Jazz Camp is an exciting summer offering for high school music students. This seven-day music camp offers serious young musicians a chance to sharpen their musical reading ability, instrumental skills, improvisational skills, solo jazz and jazz band performance skills.

SMJC will provide daily jazz practice, instrument sectionals, ensemble classes, guest presentations, non-musical recreational activities, and big band experiences.

Applicants for this program should be of high school age, primarily incoming 9th graders through outgoing 12th graders. Applicants must have played their instruments for at least one school year and/or have written recommendations from their band director or private instructor.

Applicants should play one of these instruments:

  • flute
  • clarinet
  • saxophone
  • percussion/set drums
  • trumpet
  • trombone
  • baritone/euphonium   
  • tuba
  • guitar
  • bass guitar
  • double bass
  • piano
  • voice
  • other with permission

* Instrumentation is limited, so placement will be made on a first-come, first-served basis.



The total cost of the program is $475. This is includes daily music instruction and activities during the week.

A $50 non-refundable deposit is required to process registration.



The camp will run from Sunday, August 11th - Saturday, August 17th, 9am - 5pm, at USM's Corthell Hall on the Gorham campus. Students may be dropped off after 8:30am and must be picked up by 5:00 pm.

Students must have parental permission to drive themselves to camp, and/or to transport or be transported by other students. USM parking regulations and fees apply, and will be the responsibility of the family to arrange. We will provide the contact information.

Daily Schedule (sample): 

9:00 am                  warm-up

9:15 – 10:15             Combo Rehearsal     

10:30 – 11: 30          Improvisation Class 

11:45 – 12:45           Lunch/Practice

1:00 – 3:00 pm         Combo Rehearsal

3:15 – 4:15 pm         Instrument Masterclass

4:30 – 5:30 pm         Jam Session

A final concert will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 17, in Corthell Concert Hall. Parents and family members are encouraged to attend; admission is free.



Lunch will be provided each day.


Private instruction

Private lessons are available for an additional fee and they must be scheduled separately.



Chris Oberholtzer, Camp Director, USM School of Music Director of Jazz Studies, trombone

Jazz Camp Faculty

Barry Saunders, woodwinds, Jazz Camp Manager

Bill Street, woodwinds

Brent LaCasce, vocals

Gary Wittner, guitar

Bronek Suchanek, bass

Les Harris Jr., drums


Register for this camp

Auditions for: Portland Youth Symphony Orchestras, Portland Youth Wind Ensemble, and Youth Choirs

USM Youth Ensembles

The USM Youth Ensembles invite young musicians and singers (ages 8-18) to audition for the following ensembles.

Portland Youth Symphony Orchestra
Portland Youth Wind Ensemble
Portland Youth Junior Orchestra
Portland Young Peoples String Consort
Southern Maine Youth Chorale
Southern Maine Children's Choir

Learn More


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